As the Fast & Furious franchise draws to what’s going to be a spectacularly absurd close when the tenth and eleventh movies have been released, director Justin Lin and leading man Vin Diesel will be pulling out all of the stops to ensure that the beloved series goes out in a fashion befitting one of the biggest and most popular brands in the history of cinema.
Lin admitted he thinks about Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw all the time, and the latter has already voiced his enthusiasm about returning for at least one of the concluding two chapters, something the mid-credits scene of F9 set in motion. However, the jury is still very much out on The Rock, and it’s all down to his rivalry with Diesel.
Two jacked, bald, middle-aged dudes with a shared allergy to long sleeves that also produce the majority of their own output was always going to lead to some alpha male posturing behind the scenes, and even though the feud was publicly laid to rest by both parties, Diesel may have reignited it by claiming it was all a genius exercise he devised to draw out the best possible performance from his hulking co-star.
Whether that’s even remotely close to being true or not, a throwaway line of dialogue from Helen Mirren’s Queenie Shaw could also be construed as a slight in Johnson’s direction. After her brief scene, Queenie calls Dominic Toretto her “favorite American”. While that’s fairly innocuous in itself, Mirren’s last Fast & Furious appearance came in Hobbs & Shaw. Of the eight top-billed names in the cast for David Leitch’s blockbuster, who was the only one born in the United States? You guessed it, Dwayne Johnson.