Almost 20 years on from the first entry in the series, it would be an understatement to say that the Fast & Furious franchise has come a long way from where it started. It was the fourth movie that kicked off the shift towards action blockbuster territory, but it was 2011’s Fast Five that truly reinvented the brand as a blockbuster behemoth and a box office juggernaut.
As such, hype levels are at an all-time high right now for the ninth main installment in the Fast Saga, with the movie’s first trailer generating more than half a billion views after dropping back in February. Throw in the return of director Justin Lin, who helped reinvent the series as a globe-trotting blockbuster franchise, and Sung Kang reprising his role as Han Lue, who fans have been demanding to see back in the movies for years now, and Fast & Furious 9 has all the makings of another monster hit. Which is why it’s so unfortunate that we now have to wait a lot longer to see it than originally expected.
While the film was set for release on May 22nd of this year, Universal has now made the decision to push it back until April 2nd, 2021 due to the Coronavirus, delaying it almost a full year. Over on social media, here’s what the studio had to say about the move:
To our family of Fast fans everywhere,
We feel all the love and the anticipation you have for the next chapter in our saga.
That’s why it’s especially tough to let you know that we have to move the release date of the film. It’s become clear that it won’t be possible for all of our fans around the world to see the film this May.
We are moving the global release date to April 2021, with North America opening on April 2. While we know there is disappointment in having to wait a little while longer, this move is made with the safety of everyone as our foremost consideration.
Moving will allow our global family to experience our new chapter together. We’ll see you next spring.
Your Fast Family
Of course, Fast & Furious 9 is just the latest in a long line of big movies that have now jumped ship from their spring/summer release dates, with A Quiet Place II also being pulled from its March 20th spot earlier today. All eyes are currently on Marvel to see if they’ll move Black Widow, but with the film not set to be with us until May 1st, there’s a chance that things will have calmed down by then.
In any case, this news from Universal is sure to come as a blow to Fast & Furious fans, but from a financial perspective, it certainly makes sense. Especially since this is without a doubt the studio’s most lucrative property.