Well, look at that – a bit of ‘Fast & Furious’ controversy seems to paying off once again.
In case you missed it, reports surfaced last week that Universal had designs on making a ‘Fast & Furious’ spin-off movie centred on Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Shaw. It is claimed that ‘Fast & Furious 8’ originally featured a tag scene hinting at this, but that the studio cut the scene after Vin Diesel objected.
However, Deadline now reports that the project is indeed going ahead. While the project is in the very ‘early stages,’ it’s said that it might wind up going into production before ‘Fast & Furious 9’ – and could be the first in a series of ‘Fast & Furious’ spin-offs.
Unsurprisingly very little is confirmed about the film, other than that ‘Fast’ series screenwriter Chris Morgan is expected to pen the spin-off, and that “the idea is for Johnson’s US Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs to form an unlikely alliance with Statham’s Deckard Shaw.”
Which… is basically what happens in ‘Fast 8.’ But who’s complaining? No one comes to these films looking for narrative innovation.
It’s small wonder that Universal would want to pursue this avenue. The ‘Fast & Furious’ series has skyrocketed since Johnson joined in 2011’s fifth instalment (they don’t call him ‘franchise viagra’ for nothing), and a Hobbs solo movie has long been mooted as a possibility. Given that ‘Fast 8’ promotes Statham from villain to hero, and sees him build tremendous on-screen chemistry with Johnson, a movie centred on the two follically challenged hard men is sure to be a real crowd-pleaser.
At the time of writing, ‘Fast & Furious 8’ sits on global box office takings of $685 million (approx £535 million), making it the second biggest film of 2017 thus far within a week of release.
Now the only question is, how is Johnson going to squeeze yet another movie into his ridiculously busy schedule?
Update (with mild ‘Fast 8’ SPOILER): a further report on the matter from Variety claims that the spin-off may also see Charlize Theron reprise her role as Cipher, and that the film may centre on Hobbs and Shaw hunting down the cyber-terrorist villain, still at large at the end of ‘Fast 8.’ However, it is stressed that neither Johnson, Statham nor Theron have committed to the project at present, given that it is still in very early stages.