Universal is moving forward with plans for its first Fast & Furious spinoff movie, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. The franchise just saw its eighth film, The Fate of the Furious, hit theaters to record-breaking box office returns, confirming once again that this series remains in high demand. This was not always the case, however, as the franchise really became a mega-moneymaker starting with Fast Five - the first appearance of Johnson as Hobbs.
Ever since then, Hobbs has been a vital part of the franchise and wound up leading the series' heroes in Fate of the Furious, when Dom 'turned his back on family'. To make up for Dom's exit, the Fast heroes were also forced to work together with their former enemy Deckard Shaw, played by Statham. The chemistry between Johnson and Statham was one of the biggest takeaways from Fate of the Furious, and Universal is looking to continue building on that momentum.
Deadline is reporting that Universal is in the early stages of crafting a spinoff film starring not only Hobbs, but also Shaw. The franchise heads have met to discuss the project and the plan is for Chris Morgan to take on scripting duties again, should things move forward. According to Deadline's sources, Universal not only wants to give both Johnson and Statham's characters more screentime, but also fast-track the spinoff into production while they decide what direction Fast & Furious 9 will take.
With Fast & Furious now moving into cinematic universe territory, putting The Rock and Statham together to co-lead the first spinoff is a smart move by all accounts. Not only is their chemistry a highlight of Fate of the Furious, but thanks to both actors willingness to do their own stunts - no matter how big or ridiculous - this could further branch off from the racing formula and be more of a straight-up action film. How far they dive into this remains to be seen, but thanks to the stars, it could be a situation for Universal to test the ever popular R-rating.
The timing of this news however is interesting, it was just recently reported that Johnson and Vin Diesel had resolved their feud and were both set to return in a starring capacity for Fast & Furious 9. If the spinoff is meant to film before the ninth Fast movie, it could be sometime before it gets off the ground. It still must get a finished script and find a director, but The Rock has one of the busiest schedules around, so finding time in his schedule could be difficult. That said, this spinoff will undoubtedly be made when the time is right, and it may not be too long before that time is found.