Fast and Furious spinoff director David Leitch says the upcoming Hobbs and Shaw film will be an '80s-style buddy movie. After 8 movies and $5.1 billion in worldwide grosses, the Fast and Furious franchise will get a bit of a shakeup. With Fast and Furious 9 not coming until 2020 at the earliest, the next film in the series will be a spinoff featuring Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, the characters played by Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, respectively.
Although not much is known about the project, Leitch is confirmed to be directing. A stunt coordinator originally, Leitch earned his directing wings on 2014's John Wick, which he co-helmed with Chad Stahelski. Leitch then went on to orchestrate last year's spy movie Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron. The director's latest, Deadpool 2, is currently headed for a potential $350 million worldwide opening weekend. With results like that, it's no surprise Leitch has become one of Hollywood's most sought-after action directors.
Speaking to IGN, the David Leitch discussed his upcoming Fast and Furious spinoff project. The director talked about his inspirations for the film, particularly the '80s and '90s buddy movies that got him fired up about film in the first place. Leitch said:
"There are these buddy movies from the 80s and 90s like Lethal Weapon and 48 hours that really speak to me as a filmmaker. They're ones that made me want to be a filmmaker in the first place. So to see the chemistry they (Johnson and Statham) had in the last Fast, and to see the potential that they could be...it was hard not to say yes, and say, let's go do this."
The '80s truly were the golden era of the buddy movie. The basic formula: take a pair of mismatched characters, throw them into a life-threatening situation, and watch them bond. Of course, Hobbs and Shaw have already gone through the bonding part in the original line of Fast and Furious movies. So, their movie won't be like the original Lethal Weapon or 48 Hours; It will be more like Lethal Weapon 3 or Another 48 Hours.
Of course, the key to any truly great buddy movie is the chemistry between the two stars. Leitch seems to think Johnson and Statham have the kind of magic rapport that, for instance, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover shared in the Lethal Weapon films. Leitch himself is better-known for orchestrating action than dealing with character, though he got to demonstrate his ability to handle comedy in Deadpool 2, which should come in handy. In addition to Hobbs and Shaw, Leitch will also direct The Division, a video game adaptation starring Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal.
As for the Fast and Furious franchise overall, plans are still in place for two more main series films, with the last coming in 2021. Netflix also has an animated Fast and Furious series on the docket, which should be interesting to see develop.
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020