Not unlike James Wan before him, Straight Outta Compton filmmaker F. Gary Gray faced a monumental task upon taking the reins on The Fate of the Furious.
The sequel formerly known as Fast 8 shouldered a particular weight of expectation prior to release because of Paul Walker’s tragic, untimely death – even if Universal considered incorporating a CG Brian O’Connor a la Peter Cushing in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – and it’s a testimony to Gray and his crew that The Fate of the Furious managed to carve out a new chapter in Universal’s petrolhead franchise, all the while scooping up roughly $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office.
It’s the beginning of an all-new and seemingly final trilogy of Fast and Furious movies at the studio, but beyond that, there are also plans to extend the franchise in exciting directions via spinoffs of the main series. Namely, one revolving around Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs.
First introduced as an archenemy to Dominic and the rest of the crew, Hobbs has evolved into a bona fide fan-favorite and for months, we’ve been hearing that he might get his own film. Now, those plans have been made official, as The Hollywood Reporter is telling us that the studio has set the spinoff for a 2019 release, with both Johnson and Statham locked in to star. Chris Morgan, who’s been with the franchise for a while, is on board to pen the script and the search for a director is currently underway.
“Fast & Furious is one of Universal’s most beloved properties, and we handle every decision we make surrounding this franchise with great care. The global brand of Fast & Furious is strong and full of iconic characters, and we look forward to continuing to build on the film that started it all, as well as expanding into different narratives beginning with our first spinoff,” said Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley.
Deadline notes that the idea for the spinoff revolves “around once-upon-a-time villain Deckard Shaw teaming with U.S. Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs,” but doesn’t detail the plot any further. And at this very, very early stage, we don’t expect to hear anything more about the story for a while.
Still, it’s clear that the future is looking bright for The Fast & Furious series, even despite those reports of the ninth instalment being delayed, and as two of the most electrifying actors in Hollywood today, we’re thrilled to see Johnson and Statham finally getting their own spinoff. Let the sparks fly!