Hobbs & Shaw director David Leitch has been talking about the challenges of the forthcoming Fast & Furious spinoff. The profile of the Fast & Furious series was given a boost with the introduction of relentless federal agent Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson. The character first appeared in Fast Five as an antagonist chasing Dom's (Vin Diesel) crew, but he soon became part of the family and has appeared in every subsequent sequel.
There were signs Johnson and co-star Diesel weren't on great terms when the former called out the behavior of a certain co-star on The Fate of the Furious. It was soon confirmed he was referring to Diesel, and Johnson recently revealed he didn't actually shoot any scenes with the actor during filming. Johnson also displayed great chemistry with Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw during the movie, to the point where a post-credit scene was shot between them setting up a spinoff. Diesel, who also produces the series, reportedly had the teaser deleted from the final cut.
The studio decided to press ahead with the movie regardless, and the untitled spinoff is currently referred to as Hobbs & Shaw. David Leitch (Deadpool 2) was recently named director of the project, and in a new Fandango interview he spoke about his excitement for it:
Look, I'm just so grateful to be involved in both of these franchises. It's been an incredible experience working with Ryan on Deadpool, and it's actually been really fun starting to press this movie with Dwayne and Jason. I couldn't be happier. I have done quite a few movies with Jason as a second unit director and a choreographer. I know him really well. I think what attracted me to that franchise is they really want to do something different. They understood that I wanted to sort of evolve their world, outside of the Fast world, and give it its own imprint. Obviously, like we did with Deadpool, you're expanding, you're evolving, but you're still being true to the DNA and the core of the characters that people love. I love that challenge and doing it with Dwayne and Jason is like a dream. Those guys are hardworking, talented actors.
Leitch has a long history in the movie business as a stuntman and second unit director and has been in constant demand since his directorial debut John Wick, which he co-directed with Chad Stahelski. Since then he's helmed Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2, in addition to executive producing John Wick: Chapter 2. He's jumping straight from Deadpool 2 into Hobbs & Shaw, but given his extensive background, Leitch shouldn't have much trouble devising great action scenes.
It's also encouraging to hear the spinoff will have its own unique tone apart from the Fast & Furious movies. One of the reasons Johnson said he wanted to make a solo movie was to expand the franchise into new areas, so if the movie just followed the standard formula of the series without trying something fresh, that would have been disappointing.
The announcement of Hobbs & Shaw has led to the delay of Fast & Furious 9, which will now arrive in 2020 instead. Johnson has also said he's not sure if he will appear in future mainline Fast & Furious movies due to the lingering bad blood between him and Diesel. The main series is also set to end with the tenth movie.
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020