Vanessa Kirby is joining Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in the cast of the Fast & Furious movie spinoff, which is (for now, unofficially) known as Hobbs and Shaw. As that title suggests, the spinoff is a buddy team-up that follows Johnson as special agent Luke Hobbs and Statham as semi-reformed criminal Deckard Shaw from the previous Fast & Furious movies. Longtime Fast & Furious series writer Chris Morgan is handling the script, with David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) directing.
Kirby, who is best known for her roles on The Frankenstein Chronicles TV series and especially Netflix's The Crown (where she played Princess Margaret), could be on the verge of breaking out, as a movie star. She will be playing a key supporting role in this month's Mission: Impossible - Fallout, in addition to finalizing her deal to costar in next year's Fast & Furious spinoff. As such, Kirby will soon have two big-time action movie series to her name, to go with her previous work on the small screen.
Variety reports that Kirby is lining up to play an MI-5 agent in the Fast & Furious spinoff... one who happens to be Deckard Shaw's sister. Specific plot details for the film are being kept under-wraps for now, but it stands to reason that Hobbs and Shaw will have to work together to save the day (in some respect) in the film. That suggests the duo will have to form an uneasy alliance with Kirby's character, who was referred to as "Hattie" Shaw in a previously-leaked Fast & Furious casting call. Johnson further confirmed the news about Kirby via his Twitter account (see the screenshot below).
Of course, Statham and Kirby's characters are far from the only members of the Shaw family to have shown up in the Fast & Furious films thus far. Luke Evans made his debut as Deckard's younger brother, Owen, in Fast & Furious 6, before Statham as Deckard appeared during the movie's mid-credits scene. Helen Mirren then made an uncredited appearance in last year's The Fate of the Furious as Magdalene Shaw, the matriarch of the Shaw family. However, for the time being, neither Evans nor Mirren are expected to appear in the spinoff film.
All things considered, the Fast & Furious spinoff (or Hobbs & Shaw, or whatever it ends up being titled) could help to rejuvenate the franchise creatively, ahead of Fast & Furious 9's theatrical release in 2020. Despite its massive $1.2 billion take at the global box office, Fate of the Furious earned a somewhat lukewarm reception from critics and was criticized for its "evil Dom" twist and treatment of the now-deceased Han Lue, among other things. With the spinoff movie, the franchise has a chance to truly mix up its formula, starting with its focus on the characters played by Johnson, Statham, and Kirby.
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020