A notorious deleted scene between Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham from The Fate of the Furious directly set up their recently announced franchise spinoff. The Fast and Furious series shows absolutely no sign of slowing – the eighth entry has recently posted the biggest worldwide box office opening of all time – and while Universal are sticking with their plans to round off the run with two more movies, that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for ways to divert that fan interest into other avenues.
The possibility of a spinoff for Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs has been around since the sixth installment in 2013 and has taken a recent surge in the wake of the new release. In fact, this talk made up a big part of the high-profile on-set feud between the former wrestler and Vin Diesel; just before the movie hit it was reported the series’ actor-producer had forced the filmmakers to cut a scene involving Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw that was described as setting up a spinoff for the duo. Now we have some details on that scene and why it would have so riled up Diesel.
According to The Wrap, the scene would have realized Hobbs and Shaw finally coming to blows as teased throughout the movie in an homage to Rocky 3‘s friendly rematch between Rocky and Apollo Creed; the pair would gear up to fight, only to stop just before they comes to blows as one of them asks “Why are we fighting? We should be working together instead of for that idiot.”
The scene, which sounds like it would have been a credits tag, was allegedly shot without Diesel’s knowledge, who demanded the scene be cut when he found out via his executive producer sister. It has since been claimed it was only ever intended a bonus content for the film’s home release.
It’s not hard to see why Diesel wasn’t a fan of the scene – not only was it done behind his back, it sets up a sub-series he’ll have minimal involvement in and the “that idiot” jab definitely feels like a pointed attack – although it’s even harder to not find it a bit petty. This is a franchise about family to an arguably obscene degree, so for him to be so against growing in new direction highlights the seriousness of his and The Rock’s split.
The banter between Hobbs and Shaw was a major plus point of Fate (especially in contrast to the more serious main story involving Diesel’s Dominic Toretto) and would have been an ideal way to establish where they were going. The franchise has been using post-credits scenes to seed major moments since before the Marvel Cinematic Universe popularized the trend, most prominently with the return of Letty at the end of Fast 5 and the introduction of Shaw in Fast 6. This tag would have fit in that vein, so it’s a shame it wasn’t part of the cinema experience.
Beyond the spinoff, Johnson and Statham are also expected to be back in the main series sequel Fast and Furious 9 (The Rock’s involvement was confirmed earlier this week). The ninth and tenth installments are set for 2019 and 2021 respectively, so it’s not clear what the order of release will be, but, whichever comes first, they’re sure to cross-reference each other (unlike Fate), with the latest rumors saying new villain Charlize Theron may appear in the Hobbs/Shaw team-up.
Source: The Wrap