Shane Black is an early contender to direct Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's Fast & Furious spinoff. As Universal's car franchise has continued, the inclusion of The Rock as Hobbs was one that instantly spun the franchise into a new direction. While he had already proven his popularity elsewhere, his stardom helped turn Fast & Furious into one of the world's biggest franchises. He has continued to see his role expand in the installments released since then, even becoming the de-facto star during The Fate of the Furious.
With The Rock being as popular as ever, Universal has moved forward with The Rock's desire to give Hobbs a spinoff movie of his own. However, he won't be the only star of this film, what with Jason Statham set to reprise his role as Deckard Shaw in the movie. The film just received a release date for 2019, and now may have Iron Man 3's director in its sights.
Variety is reporting that while things are very early and no meetings have taken place, Black is one of the many names being eyed to direct at this stage. He is no stranger to buddy action/comedies like this either, having written films likes Lethal Weapon and directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, and most recently The Nice Guys. He is also lined up to direct Doc Savage - also starring The Rock - but with the status of that film unknown, Black and Johnson could look towards the spinoff as their chance to work together, instead.
The odds of Black actually signing on to direct the Fast & Furious spinoff are unknown at this stage. Variety's report says that any meetings with directors won't take place until the script has been finished by Chris Morgan. However, with a summer 2019 release date now attached to the project, that shouldn't take too long. The film will need to start shooting around mid-2018, so Universal may take the next few months to finalize the script, and then announce a director early next year.
Black would be a potentially great fit for the spinoff thanks to his style, and he has a schedule that should work with the movie's presumed production timeline. Black is currently putting the finishing touches on The Predator and is getting that sequel/reboot ready for an August release date next year. The filmmaker will be out and about promoting The Predator around the same time that the Fast & Furious spinoff should be starting principal photography, so that could present a scheduling conflict. However, if Black is the choice that Johnson is championing, his say could be enough to ensure that the storyteller is brought onboard.
The Hobbs/Shaw Fast & Furious spinoff hits theaters July 26th, 2019.
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020