After a staggering eight films and a ninth on the way, the successful Fast and Furious franchise is preparing to launch its first ever spin-off film. Action stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham will star in the new film, reprising their roles from the last few Fast and Furious films.
Rumors of a spin-off with the two actors first surfaced back in April, reportedly as a way to keep the franchise alive while plans for the ninth film were finalized.
Recently, it was announced that the ninth Fast and Furious film was pushed back from 2019 to 2020, leaving a hole in the schedule that Universal is eager to fill.
Screenwriter Chris Morgan, who has written every film in the franchise since 2006’s Tokyo Drift, will return to script the spin-off, as well.
Johnson’s Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Dobbs first appeared in 2011’s Fast Five, transitioning from an antagonist to an ally.
Statham had a small cameo in Fast & Furious 6 before joining the franchise fully for the last two installments as assassin Deckard Shaw.
One person who is most decidedly NOT happy about the spin-off news is franchise co-star Tyrese Gibson, who attacked Johnson as a “clown.”
Diversity, love, multi ethnic worldwide multi generational, United Nations, One Race, Fast Family…… Until Dewayne showed up I guess this whole time he had a problem cause he wasn't the ONLY ONE on the movie poster……….. I guess dreams do come true congratulations to @hhgarcia41 and @therock you guys are just amazing you really broke up the #FastFamily I tried to warn you guys… You thought I was hating…… I was simply fighting to keep the family together what makes us great is when you see us all TOGETHER we don't fly solo….. #MyLastPost today….. I got 3 years of venting on this clown – They offered but YOU didn't have to agree with a solo #HobbsMovie #OriginalFastFamily we salute you and stand on your shoulders #VinDiesel #PaulWalker #RobCohen #RomanTej were offered a spin off we TURNED IT DOWN!!!
When rumors of the spin-off first surfaced, Gibson took to social media to beg Johnson not to pursue the film, lest it delay the next installment in the main franchise.
On Thursday, Gibson posted a photo of the original Fast and Furious cast with a long caption disparaging Johnson and revealing that he and co-star Ludacris already turned down their own spin-off offer.
Series star Vin Diesel seemingly added his support to Gibson’s complaints with an Instagram post of his own, showing him alongside Gibson and the late Paul Walker. The newly announced Fast and Furious spin-off is slated to arrive in theaters on July 26, 2019, while Fast 9 is now scheduled for April 10, 2020.