By the time Fast & Furious 9 arrives in June, the four-year gap between mainline installments will be the longest in the franchise’s history. While the Coronavirus pandemic had a huge say in that decision given that the movie was ultimately delayed by fourteen months, Hobbs & Shaw was also partly responsible.
The ninth outing for Dominic Toretto and his crew was originally announced for an April 2019 release, before Universal decided to move forward on the first spinoff instead, which saw Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham lead the blockbuster buddy adventure to over $750 million at the box office, causing some friction among the longtime members of the cast.
As well as the very public beef between Johnson and Vin Diesel, Tyrese also blasted The Rock for putting his own project ahead of the next collaborative effort, and as a result, both Hobbs and Shaw will be sitting out F9 after the stars didn’t align schedule-wise. The good news is that the trio of bald-headed action heroes have put their differences aside, and in a new interview, director Justin Lin confirmed that Johnson and Statham’s characters are still very much part of the family.
“I never really considered them gone, you know? To me, they’re still in this universe, they’re part of this family. Whatever we do, whenever we’re talking about the next chapter, I never feel like I have any restrictions, so I’m excited for what we build, and as we’re coming to this kind of final chapter of this saga, I think I’m excited to revisit. Any character, in any situation, is up for discussion.”
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A Hobbs & Shaw sequel is in the works, but it doesn’t sound as though we’ll be seeing it for a while, while Lin is set to helm the tenth and eleventh Fast & Furious films, which will draw the main story to a close. If the franchise is going out in suitably fitting and spectacular style, though, then it stands to reason that both Johnson and Statham will drop by for an appearance, even if it’s nothing more than a brief cameo, especially when the family’s two alpha males put their differences aside recently.