Though the absence of a true Fast and Furious movie leaves a car-shaped hole in the summer blockbuster schedule, it’s looking increasingly likely that series spinoff Hobbs and Shaw will provide enough thrills to fill the gap. The film centres on Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw as they team up alongside new cast members Vanessa Kirby, Eiza Gonzalez, Eddie Marsan and Stephanie Vogt. But it’s Idris ‘Sexiest Man Alive‘ Elba’s arrival in this gasoline-scented universe that’s really being talked up.
With the film just having wrapped, Johnson posted a photo showing himself and Elba sitting in the pouring rain. Both look seriously cool, too, with the latter seeming to be wearing some kind of tactical armor which might hint that his character’s a step beyond the petrolhead heroes of the series. Alongside the image, Johnson hyped up Elba’s role by saying the following in the caption:
“For Hobbs & Shaw we cast the one and only Idris Elba to be the baddest, most diabolical, most dominant and coolest bad guy the Fast & Furious franchise has ever seen. I thought it was a good idea to create an iconic character at the time I pitched it – until he started kickin’ the shit outta me for 14 hrs daily, in the cold rain and working thru weekends. The man to my left is my brother in arms. He also has a vicious Muay Thai elbow. And I had to open my big mouth. In the end, it’s worth the pain.”
If nothing else, it’ll be an interesting novelty seeing Elba play a villain in a movie. He’s got such an innately charismatic presence that he usually ends up as some kind of hero, and it’s going to be difficult not to start rooting for him against the combined star power of Statham and Johnson. If what Johnson says is accurate though, I can’t wait to see him “kickin’ the shit” out of The Rock in the rain.
Though a full-blooded Fast and Furious movie is expected in 2020, it’s beginning to look like Hobbs and Shaw is going to be more than a wheel-spinning exercise. And hey, perhaps the tighter character focus might be to the film’s benefit.