It looks like Dwayne Johnson's Fast and Furious spinoff - frequently referred to as Hobbs & Shaw - has taken some important steps towards production. A new report suggests that David Leitch (Deadpool 2) is tapped to direct, a precise date has been set for the first day of shooting, and that three destinations have already been locked in for filming locations.
With Johnson's law enforcement agent Luke Hobbs instantly becoming a fan favorite when he first appeared in Fast Five, it was no surprise that his role was expanded upon in all future entries in the action-packed franchise. This was especially obvious in the most recent entry, The Fate of the Furious. There was plenty of noise regarding the spinoff potential of the character, focusing on Hobbs working away from the team headed up by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). With Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw becoming part of that family, after making up for his bad-guy duties on Furious 7, the pairing of the two action-stars in a separate movie seemed like a no-brainer. Leitch was linked with the project and a start date for filming was reportedly set for sometime in September of this year.
According to the latest report from Omega Underground, that production start date has now been specifically narrowed down to September 4th. Not only that, but three locations have also been locked-in for the scheduled shooting. Cameras will reportedly be rolling in Atlanta, GA, with other sequences set to take place in undisclosed locations in Hawaii and the United Kingdom. This is yet to be confirmed, but it is totally feasible with Johnson expected to wrap Disney’s Jungle Cruise on August 31st. Although with his insanely busy schedule, there's always a chance of push-back.
The existence of the spinoff hasn't been exactly a source of joy for everyone, and it certainly caused some friction within the Fast and Furious regular cast when it was first announced. Johnsons original comments about building out the franchise lead to some ill-feelings and Tyrese Gibson calling out the project as being "selfish". The feud was eventually calmed though with the two stars eventually making up, and Johnson re-affirming that he just wanted to make a solid action-movie for the fans.
The continual reports of Leitch's involvement with the film has led to speculation that Charlize Theron's Cipher will play the villain in the spinoff, due to their work together on Atomic Blonde. But plot specifics and further casting details have yet to be confirmed. The easy chemistry displayed between Johnson and Statham - both action franchise veterans who never take their movie roles too seriously - should make for entertaining viewing, and maybe move away from the emphasis on family and high-speed vehicles that have marked the films so far. Hopefully, the reports are accurate and audiences can expect to see Hobbs and Shaw crash onto screens in 2019 as anticipated.
Source: Omega Underground
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020