The wait for Fast & Furious 9 has just been extended by a few weeks thanks to Universal delaying the release date. The studio's once grounded action franchise has now become one of the biggest blockbuster franchises of all-time. Much of this success started once Dwayne Johnson joined the property, but with him off doing his own Hobbs & Shaw spinoff, it will be Vin Diesel who will solely lead the ninth installment.
The story of Fast & Furious 9 is not yet known, but Diesel has been teasing updates on the project for the last several weeks. They are in the final phases of pre-production with filming set to begin in April, and the sequel will reportedly (and unsurprisingly) feature the return of many familiar faces in the franchise. A return is also in store for director Justin Lin, who will direct Fast & Furious 9 after directing four prior entries, before James Wan and F. Gary Gray joined. It has been under their combined visions that the franchise had its monumental rise and earned over $4 billion combined.
Related: Every Upcoming Fast & Furious Movie
Despite production gearing up, Deadline has shared the news that Universal has given Fast & Furious 9 a few more weeks before it's released in theaters. The studio has delayed the film's release date by several weeks and will now launch the blockbuster on May 22, 2020. The film's previous release date was April 10, 2020.
This move is surprising on a number of levels, but especially so when the franchise's success as of late is considered. The last two films, which both made over $1 billion on their own, hit theaters in April, so this appeared to be the sweet spot for the franchise. This instead moves the franchise to Memorial Day weekend, the same slot that Fast & Furious 6 got, opening to a then franchise best $97 million over the 3-day weekend, but $117M over the 4-day holiday.
Universal is clearly hoping to replicate these results and give the film staying power through the summer season, but they've given the film much bigger competition in doing so. There were no other movie set to open in the same weekend as Fast & Furious 9's original date, but it was announced moments after this change that Bond 25 (which Universal is distributing) is filling the void. Potentially helping out Daniel Craig's final outing as 007, they have put Dominic Toretto and his family up against Godzilla vs. Kong and The SpongeBob Movie. It will be quite surprising if all three of these movies stay, so either Fast & Furious 9 will move again or Warner Bros. will vacate the spot and move Godzilla vs. Kong elsewhere. But, since WB is set to release Godzilla: King of the Monsters in the same window this year, they likely won't budge by much if the sequel performs well.
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020