It’s no secret that Universal’s Fast & Furious franchise tends to play fast and loose with the definition of ‘family.’
From the get-go, Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto has waxed lyrical about the importance of a strong, familial unit, which has grown to encompass a who’s who of Hollywood talent: Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson and Helen Mirren.
As for the core Toretto clan, it’s mainly comprised of Dominic, Mia (Brewster) and little Brian Marcos Toretto, whose name honors the legacy of Brian O’Connor (played by the late Paul Walker). And if the latest Fast & Furious 9 intel is to be believed, the Toretto family will grow by one thanks to the addition of John Cena, who’s reportedly climbed aboard to play Dom’s long-lost brother.
Set reports indicate that Cena had to earn the respect of Fast & Furious’ core cast prior to filming, which tells us that the actor is clearly taking on a prominent role in the action sequel. But sources close to WGTC – the same ones who said Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart had cameos in Hobbs & Shaw, and that Keanu Reeves may be joining the franchise, all of which we now know to be true – say that Cena is actually taking on the role of Dom’s brother. We should warn you that there’s still every chance director Justin Lin will tweak the story to accommodate John Cena’s involvement, but according to early test footage at least, that who he’s playing.
The question, really, is whether Cena’s character will resonate in the same way as Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs, who muscled his way into Fast Five and quickly became a fan-favorite. I guess we’ll find out when Fast & Furious 9 launches into theaters (and into space, it seems) on May 22nd, 2020. It’s said to be the penultimate installment in this gear-grinding saga, though don’t be too surprised if Universal jump-start another spinoff in the vein of Hobbs & Shaw.