The Road Forward From Hobbs & Shaw to F9: Fast & Furious
Note: Spoilers ahead for basically the entire FAST AND FURIOUS series, including HOBBS & SHAW. We're going to talk about post-credits scenes, cameos, and hints about the future of the whole franchise!
When you live your life a quarter mile at a time, you want to know what's coming next. The FAST & FURIOUS series has been an amazing ride, with eight movies in the can and the first spin-off, FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW. The next proper sequel, F9: FAST & FURIOUS, is done and awaiting release, with filmmaker Justin Lin (who directed moves three through six) back in the director's chair.
So what's next for the Fast Family? Let's lay out the road map for the future of the series based on what we already know, and what happened in HOBBS & SHAW.
For the most part, HOBBS & SHAW really does seem to be a fairly distant spin-off from the main series. Which is to say that it's entirely possible that neither main character will appear in F9: FAST & FURIOUS. That said, there are some possibilities for deeper connections. Spoiler number one is that the HOBBS & SHAW villain is revealed to be an organization called Eteon, led by the so-called "Director." We never see the director — only his voice is heard. Since Charlize Theron's FATE OF THE FURIOUS character, Cipher, is likely to be important to future FAST & FURIOUS films, could there be a connection between her and Eteon? She's a technologically-advanced threat, and if her methods aren't quite as sci-fi out-there as Eteon's, it's easy to see how they could still mesh.
Which brings us to spoiler number two. The Director's voice is credited to "Champagne Nightingale," which may be a pseudonym for actor Ryan Reynolds. But don't expect Reynolds to be revealed as the actual Director. That's because he plays the CIA agent Locke, in a cameo done as a favor for his DEADPOOL 2 director David Leitch, who also directed HOBBS & SHAW. And since cameos in this series have been a way to introduce new characters, or reintroduce old ones (we're thinking here of Vin Diesel's appearance at the end of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT, after sitting out the second movie), there's a good chance that Reynolds will be back for a future installment. Whether that would be in a proper FAST & FURIOUS chapter, or another spin-off, however, remains to be seen.
The biggest lingering question in the series right now is whether or not there will be justice for Han. Don't know what we're talking about? Here's a quick refresher.
Sung Kang's character, Han Lue, was introduced in TOKYO DRIFT, in which he is killed in a fiery crash. When the series kept going for a fourth movie, however, Han was written back in. Eventually he fell in love with Gal Gadot's character, Gisele, who dies in FAST & FURIOUS 6. But that moment isn't the only devastating one for Han in the sixth movie. The post-credit sequence reveals that TOKYO DRIFT takes place after the fourth, fifth and sixth films, and that Jason Statham's character, Deckard Shaw, was the cause of Han's death.
The problems begin when Deckard Shaw is pulled into the franchise's extended family unit at the end of THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS. We know he killed Han, so how can he be part of the family? Granted, Shaw does seem to know that Han's death is an issue. "There are things I've done that I have to make amends for," he says in HOBBS & SHAW, clearly referencing Han. And long-time FAST & FURIOUS screenwriter Chris Morgan says that Han will indeed have some form of justice. Morgan told EW, "the super-arc for Deckard Shaw is going to be one of the most interesting, cool, rewarding character arcs in the franchise. Justice for Han is owed… I think the audience will be satisfied and should know it’s coming."
The Future for F9: Fast & Furious
The FAST AND FURIOUS series has got at least two more movies, numbers nine and ten, which means that a couple big story points could be wrapped up by the time the credits roll on the tenth movie. Han's tale is among them, as is the story of Theron's Cipher. We know that Jordana Brewster will return as Mia, the sister of Vin Diesel's character Dominic Toretto. Mia was last seen in FAST & FURIOUS 7, as her character retired with Brian O'Conner, played by the late Paul Walker. Precisely how Mia will return — and why — remains unknown.
F9 will also feature the core family: Vin Diesel as Dom, Michelle Rodriguez as Dom's wife Letty Ortiz, Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pierce, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges as Tej Parker, and Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey. Helen Mirren will appear once again, after her HOBBS & SHAW role, and John Cena is playing an as-yet undisclosed role.
After a bit of shuffling, Universal Pictures set F9: FAST & FURIOUS to be released on June 25, 2021. The movie was originally set to arrive in 2019, with the tenth film following a year later. Now that this 2021 date is set for the ninth film, we don't know if we can still expect the tenth a year later. We're excited about all the possibilities for F9, so we'll save speculation about the following installment for later this year.
Are you excited to race into the FAST & FURIOUS future?
All images courtesy of Universal Pictures.