The Fast and the Furious franchise is a juggernaut that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With the eighth film, The Fate of the Furious, currently tearing up the international box office, Universal Pictures is now making plans for the future — and they include a possible spin-off for two popular co-stars.
A new report suggests that Universal is in talks for a spin-off film focusing on the characters played by Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. The duo is a major part of Fate of the Furious, and executives see the spin-off as a way to keep the franchise alive until the ninth film comes together.
Screenwriter Chris Morgan, who has written every Fast & Furious film since Tokyo Drift, would return to write the new spin-off film, as well.
Johnson’s character, Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Dobbs, first appeared in 2011’s Fast Five. Statham then joined the franchise as Deckard Shaw in Fast & Furious 6.
Both characters were originally introduced as antagonists, but eventually became allies to Vin Diesel’s Dominic Torreto and the rest of the crew. The new film would see the two forced to team up on their own.
Spin-off films have been suggested before as a way to keep the Fast & Furious films going. Both Johnson and Diesel have mentioned in interviews over the years that spin-off films were being discussed.
In February of last year, Diesel announced the release dates for the ninth and tenth films in the franchise: April 19, 2019 and April 2, 2021, respectively. Unless those dates have changed, Universal is probably targeting a 2018 release date for the Johnson/Statham spin-off film.
The Fate of the Furious destroyed box office records when it was released earlier this month. The film brought in $532 million internationally, beating the previous record held by 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The newest film was also the first since Tokyo Drift that didn’t star actor Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in 2013. Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody, who doubled for him to finish filming on Furious 7, have suggested they could return to reprise the role in future films.