News broke earlier this week that Universal had pushed back the release date of its ninth movie in the “Fast and Furious” franchise by one year, and it’s now been revealed why that was done.
The first spinoff movie in the money-making franchise will come before it.
A movie that will focus on the characters played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham will be released in 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That will follow with the ninth “Fast and Furious” movie in 2020.
News of a movie being developed that would focus on the popular Hobbs (Johnson) and Shaw (Statham) characters surfaced soon after the success of this summer’s “The Fate of the Furious” release. The characters formed a unique bromance in the movie, which was one of its highlights.
According to THR, longtime franchise screenwriter Chris Morgan is developing a script.
The news also brings some clarification to the Instagram post Tyrese Gibson did on Wednesday. Following the news of the ninth “Fast” movie getting pushed to a 2020 release, Gibson, who plays the Roman character in the franchise, called out Johnson on Instagram congratulating the star for “making the fast and the furious franchise about YOU.”
It’s clear Gibson believes Johnson – who joined the franchise on 2011’s “Fast Five” and helped rejuvenate it to become the $1 billion-plus worldwide box office giant it is today – muscled Universal into getting the Hobbs/Shaw movie made first.
However, THR claims the studio is trying to get director Justin Lin to come back to make the ninth movie (he made “Fast & Furious,” “Fast 5,” “Fast & Furious 6”), so the push to 2020 will hopefully help to accommodate Lin’s schedule.
Regardless, it’s a smart business move by Universal. The extension of one of their most prized franchises helps in competing with Disney’s “Star Wars,” which has now branched off to making standalone movies between the releases of the main saga.