Universal's Fast & Furious spinoff concerning Luke Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) has been pushed back slightly. It's almost impossible to imagine that Universal ever dreamed that its modestly budgeted - for a major studio movie - action flick The Fast and the Furious would take off the way it has, spawning a franchise currently comprised of eight films. Made for only $38 million, the summer 2001 release hauled in over $200 million worldwide. That's an impressive take to be sure, but only the tip of the iceberg for the franchise.
Up to and including last year's hit The Fate of the Furious, the Fast & Furious franchise has so far earned a whopping $5.1 billion worldwide. Even more impressive is how Fast & Furious is one of the rare film series that has actually gained in critical stature as it's progressed, in that the more recent entries tend to be regarded much more highly by most than the originals. Appropriately, The Fate of the Furious and 2015's Furious 7 are actually the highest-grossing entries in the franchise so far, racing to over $1 billion each.
While it'll be a bit of a wait for fans before the supposedly series-concluding Fast & Furious 9 and 10 come out - 2020 and 2021, respectively - 2019 is set to expand the Fast & Furious landscape by producing the franchise's first spinoff. The still currently untitled film centers on the characters of Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, respectively played by The Rock and Jason Statham. Hobbs joined the series in 2011's Fast Five, and has long been a fan favorite. Shaw made his proper debut in Furious 7, after a quick cameo in Fast & Furious 6. The Hobbs and Shaw spinoff was originally set for a July 26, 2019 release date, but will now roll into theaters a bit later, on August 2, 2019.
Doing a spinoff focusing on Hobbs and Shaw makes a lot of sense, not only due to the overwhelming popularity of Dwayne Johnson's Hobbs - and to a lesser degree, Statham's Shaw - but also because it's well-known that Johnson and main Fast & Furious series star Vin Diesel don't get along. Their bad blood has become very public in recent years, with the two men refusing to even work together during production of The Fate of the Furious. One wonders how much of a presence Hobbs will have in the final two Fast and Furious movies, considering this friction.
As it stands, the untitled Fast & Furious spinoff will now go head to head at the box office with both FOX's repeatedly delayed X-Men-based horror movie The New Mutants and a currently unrevealed event film from Warner Bros. Honestly, considering the mega success of the most recent Fast & Furious movies, FOX and WB might be wise to respond to this move by bumping its planned August 2 releases to a different weekend, as it's not hard to imagine Hobbs and Shaw zooming away with #1 by a wide margin.
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019