Universal has recruited screenwriter Daniel Casey to work on Fast & Furious 9. Chris Morgan took over writing duties on the Fast & Furious movies in the mid-2000s, starting with 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (the third film in the series after Fast and the Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious). Since Morgan is busy writing the Fast & Furious spinoff movie featuring Dwayne Johnson's Agent Hobbs and Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw, he will hand off the task of writing the ninth mainline Fast & Furious installment to Casey instead.
Fast & Furious the series has its roots in the genre blending street crime fare that David Ayer, who wrote the original Fast and the Furious in 2001, has since made his bread and butter as a filmmaker (see End of Watch, Bright, and so forth). Things started to change for the series when Morgan teamed up with director Justin Lin for Tokyo Drift, a movie that (literally) made Fast & Furious an international brand by shifting the action to Japan. Lin went on to oversee the next three films in the series, transforming Fast & Furious into the global juggernaut it is today.
Lin is now officially returning to the series for Fast & Furious 9, as was recently confirmed by franchise star Vin Diesel. THR reports that Casey will pen the script for the film, which is currently slotted for a 2020 theatrical release. Not much else is known about the movie at the moment, but Diesel has hinted that Africa will serve as one of the exotic backdrops this time around. Fast & Furious 9 will also set the stage for Fast & Furious 10 to end the primary series, according to longtime producer Neal Moritz.
THR notes that Casey's up and comer status helped land him the job of writing a Fast & Furious movie. In addition to writing the Baker brothers' sci-fi crime thriller Kin (a low-budget effort that has been making some noise ahead of its release this summer), Casey wrote the script for the mysterious superhero movie The Heavy. Described as being a "subversive" take on the genre, The Heavy is being produced by J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot and directed by Julius Avery, the filmmaker behind this fall's Overlord (aka. the bizarre sounding WWII horror/thriller that Abrams says is not Cloverfield 4 despite rumors to the contrary).
As nice as it will be to have Lin back in the director's chair, Fast & Furious 9 should benefit from having a different writer tackling the script for a change. Morgan has written six Fast & Furious movies so far and, to be frank, it really started to show in last year's The Fate of the Furious. Being a buddy movie, Johnson's spinoff will give Morgan a break from having to find yet another new angle on the series' formula and allow him to come back with fresher eyes for Fast & Furious 10, assuming that's the plan.
- Untitled Fast & Furious Spinoff (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: Apr 10, 2020