The Fast & Furious franchise has been pleasing fans since its debut in 2000. What started off as a grounded crime drama slowly evolved into a high-stakes action franchise brimming with over-the-top dialogue and even more ridiculous stunts. Each film does its best to outdo the last with its set pieces, and usually succeeds.
The most recent entry was Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, a spin-off featuring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham's characters. In May of next year, the series will gift the world with a ninth mainline film. When Fast & Furious 9 comes, here are ten things we want from it. Fair warning: there will be spoilers for Hobbs and Shaw in the entries below.
The villain in Fate of the Furious, Cipher, had her day rained on in that film, but she successfully evaded capture, leaving a promise of her return. The character, played by Charlize Theron, was behind most of the team's suffering and pulled the strings from the shadows for the last couple of films.
Here's hoping she makes an appearance in the next installment, following up where the eighth entry left off. Dominic Toretto in particular has a personal score to settle with her, since she ended the life of his child's mother.
9 Bigger Stunts
This one is a given, but most people couldn't possibly imagine how the film-makers could top the set pieces presented in Fate of the Furious. Then again, people cast the same doubts after watching Furious 7, and the team managed to one up themselves.
What could they do bigger and more impressive than throwing a submarine into a car chase? Maybe they will go into space, or invade a villain's secret underwater lab, driving underwater cars. All of this may sound like a cheesy Bond film, but the recent films have resembled the more melodramatic adventures of the beloved British spy.
8 Ryan Reynolds
Hobbs and Shaw delighted viewers with its slew of cameos. One of the biggest surprises was an appearance by Ryan Reynolds. His screen time is limited, but he is integral to the plot and getting the two main characters together. One of the stingers during the credits hints at the character having a larger role in the overall franchise.
Maybe they'll save him for the sequel to the spin-off, but it would incredible to see him interact with Toretto's crew. His comedic skills would be a superb addition to the main cast.
7 More Legendary Actors
The series has seen several faces one would never expect to see anywhere near it. Kurt Russell's appearance is at least somewhat believable - he's done his share of flashy action flicks - but Helen Mirren's casting came out of nowhere.
Fortunately, her performance seemed like more than just her wanting a big paycheck, as she really indulged in the role and returned for the spin-off. The next film should try to grab more legendary names. Imagine Clint Eastwood acting opposite his son; it's pure comedic gold waiting to happen.
6 Tego Calderon and Don Omar
Music fans were undoubtedly excited to see these two legends in the fourth film and fifth movies. They unfortunately sat out the next two installments, which is probably good for their characters because the stakes got even higher and the risk of death increased tenfold.
Their roles were relegated to cameos in Fate of the Furious, but it was still nice to see them back. The chemistry between the two was sorely missed, so we'd welcome their return with open arms.
5 Vanessa Kirby
One of the best parts of Hobbs and Shaw was Vanessa Kirby's performance as Hattie Shaw, Deckard's sister. Family has always been a running theme of the series, and adding more kin to the picture just solidifies this.
She currently has not been announced for a role, but hopefully she gets at least a small cameo. They probably don't want to confuse viewers who didn't see the spin-off, but it would be a nice treat for those who did if she made an appearance.
4 Learning About Samantha Hobbs' Mother
During the recently released film, Hobbs' daughter presents him with a family tree she drew for school. Aside from the hilariously barren tree, there is also a question mark where the mother's name should be. This is just itching for a dramatic explanation in a future film.
Was she a normal woman who fell casualty to her partner's dangerous career, or was she hiding malicious secrets of her own? Surely the series will tackle this at some point, and what better time to do it than in Fast and Furious 9.
3 Kevin Hart
Another great cameo appearance in Hobbs and Shaw was Kevin Hart. The comedian is relegated to just two scenes, but his comedic prowess shines in the little time he is given. He also helps out the heroes big time when they need to travel around the world quickly and discreetly.
If he does show up, he should have a bigger part. Of course, they'd probably save him for a future Hobbs and Shaw film if anything, but connecting the two with more common characters wouldn't be a bad move.
It is jarring going back to watch Furious 7 and seeing how viciously evil Deckard Shaw is. The first thing audiences see him do is murder Han, who had recently become a fan favorite, at the end of Furious 6. In Fate of the Furious, there are a couple of lines of dialog to acknowledge this, but it is half baked reconciliation, considering he killed their good friend.
Deckard is still a badass, but he's more cheery and good natured. The movies explain why he became a fugitive, but he still seems like a different character now than he was in his first appearance. We want him back, and we want more from him.
1 Follow Up With Eteon
Hobbs and Shaw ends with an ominous promise from a mysterious voice. The head of Eteon also hints that they know Lucas Hobbs personally. Is it a character who already appeared in the films, or is it somebody from the character's deep past? Heck, maybe it's Samantha's mother.
Whatever the answer is, here's hoping the mystery gets uncovered at least a little bit in the ninth film. Perhaps they will be connected with Cipher, or they will clash. Cipher is a brutal criminal, while Eteon is interested in order and human evolution: these two lifestyles usually don't mix well.