The director of The Fate of the Furious admits that he agrees with fan campaign Justice for Han. Fast and Furious 8 was mostly praised by critics and fans alike for its continuation of the family-based story and utterly ridiculous action, although one character beat rubbed some audiences up the wrong way.
In Furious 7, Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw showed that he meant business by killing Dom Toretto's associate Han Seoul-Oh (whose death had, due to the series' complicated timeline, been unavoidable since Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift). However, in the next film, Shaw not only backs off his murderous desire for Hobbs and Dom, but also works with them against cyber terrorist Cipher. At the end he even shared a beer with the crew with nary a mention that just a few years earlier he killed their friend. This has led to the so-called "Justice for Han" movement, with fans calling out the film. And now the director has weighed in.
Speaking to Screen Rant, F. Gary Gray candidly commented on the controversy and admitted that he thinks the handling of Shaw's redemption could have been better:
"I will say this. You know what, I think that while I love Jason's character in Fate of the Furious I think that there could have been a little room for adjustment to his character in Fate of the Furious. I think there was a little room for that. I won't go as far as saying he shouldn't have helped take down Cipher as a character, but in hindsight, I think that there was a little room for adjustment there for sure."
Although he doesn't as go as far as damning the decision, it does appear that Gray is appreciative of how sudden and stark Shaw's turn was. Indeed, the whole Han issue feels like an oversight in regards to Fate as a standalone movie within the canon. That he and writer Chris Morgan have now both addressed it in very frank terms, though, it seems unavoidable that this will get a proper addressing in a future movie.
Beyond respecting his death, there's been a lot of talk about Sun Kang’s character in recent months, with some suggestion that the franchise may find a way to bring Han back in some form. Whether that would be in a flashback, another alteration to the already complicated timeline or a straight-up resurrection (something that's happened several times in the series) is unknown, but after the Justice calls it's sure to be a welcome return.
As for Shaw, he's set to become an increasingly more important part of the series regardless. While there are only two planned movies left in the main series, a spinoff for Statham and Dwayne Johnson's Hobbs is planned (and was even going to be teased in a post-credits scene that was cut at the last minute). Reports on that project's development are slight, but given how much fun the pair's interactions were in Fate (and how Shaw's airplane gunfight was an undisputed highlight) it's sure to be a highly-anticipated prospect.
The Fate of the Furious is now available on Digital HD and will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand July 11.