Hollywood has started pivoting towards an increase in representation and diversity in the industry’s biggest, costliest and most commercially viable properties, but the long-running Fast & Furious franchise has never had that problem.
For 20 years, the adventures of Dominic Toretto and his extended family have featured a culturally and ethnically diverse roster of main characters, and neither figurehead Vin Diesel nor studio Universal have felt the need to shout about it from the rooftops. In fact, since the tragic passing of Paul Walker in 2013, the revolving door of talent has barely featured a prominent white male protagonist, with the exception of Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw co-headlining spinoff Hobbs & Shaw alongside Dwayne Johnson.
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However, we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones that told us Fast & Furious 9 would be heading to outer space long before it was confirmed by the stars themselves, and that Han would return in the film – that Johnson is pushing to introduce an LGBT lead in one of the upcoming Hobbs & Shaw sequels as he looks to establish even more diversity in the sprawling shared universe.
Of course, the first outing featured an eclectic and diverse cast as it was, with the two headliners joined by screen royalty Helen Mirren, rising talent Vanessa Kirby, the always reliable Idris Elba, veteran New Zealand character actor Cliff Curtis, professional wrestler of Samoan descent Roman Reigns, Mexican actress Eiza Gonzalez and Tongan John Tui, not to mention cameos from A-listers Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart. It would appear that Johnson is looking to build Hobbs & Shaw as the primary draw of Fast & Furious once the eleven-film main saga draws to a close, though, and he’s hoping to do it by gathering together an ensemble that reflects the times we live in.