Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw - the first of potentially many Hobbs & Shaw movies and Fast spinoffs - didn’t actually include the first Shaw character introduced in the franchise, so where is that Shaw (Luke Evans' Owen Shaw) and what was he doing during the events of this film? We traveled to Shaw's homeland last week to experience a sampling of that family's lifestyle (including driving Deckard Shaw's McLaren 720S) to celebrate Hobbs & Shaw releasing on on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand to find out more.
This question of Owen Shaw's absence from the first movie to delve into his family is the single biggest point of confusion for fans of the Fast & Furious franchise, a series that’s gotten very – let’s say, creative – with its continuity. Characters seemingly die and then come back, others who come back disappear without explanation, and sometimes a character murders another and everyone pretends it didn’t happen. All of these inconsistencies seem to stem from the Shaw family who get more of their mysterious origin explored in Hobbs & Shaw, as well as plenty of setup for future stories.
I spoke with Hobbs & Shaw director David Leitch who was available to promote Universal Pictures Home Entertainment's launch of the hit spinoff, and tried to get as much info as possible on Owen’s whereabouts but the truth is, at least for Leitch, there wasn’t a plan for this character or how he fit into the family history.
Rob Keyes: I heard you talk on a podcast about the reason Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw is not in this film where you said that because there are a lot of characters already - you're introducing Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) - there wasn't really space for Owen. What do you think Owen is up to during this film?
David Leitch: (laughs) I don't know. I didn't have a backstory in mind for Owen’s character or where he was. But I'm sure he's doing something in Shaw's universe with Queenie, and he could arise at any time in this world. For sure.
Queenie of course is the Shaw family matriarch, Magdalene Shaw (Helen Mirren). We also spoke with franchise narrative architect Chris Morgan the other week, who’s been writing for the series since Tokyo Drift, and he was able to offer at least a tease of the future.
"I think we are, again, a world that is expanding. We have a lot of stories that we’re going to be telling and a lot of interconnected character things. I would just say that I’m a huge fan of that character. Just wait."
Morgan is a fan of the Luke Evans character and hinted that fans should expect him back. With how the Fast & Furious universe is expanding into spinoffs and taking deeper dives on certain characters we expect Owen to pop up in future Shaw stories, and maybe even in the mainline Fast series again.
For context, Owen Shaw appeared as the primary antagonist of 2013's Fast & Furious 6 where he we learn he has recruited Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) who we all thought was dead after the events of the franchise's fourth entry, simply titled Fast & Furious. She had inexplicably survived but lost her memory. Dom Toretto and his “Family” defeated Owen in the end, nearly killing him. In Fast & Furious 6's post-credits sequence we meet Owen’s brother Deckard (Jason Statham) who kills Han in a moment of calculated revenge – tying the main series with the events of Tokyo Drift and setting up Furious 7.
Fast & Furious Narrative Architect Says "Just Wait" on Owen Shaw's Return
Deckard then served as the villain of Furious 7 before reluctantly becoming some sort of antihero in a key part of Fast 8 where he returns – with his fully alive and capable brother Owen – to team-up and help Dom rescue his child. This movie is where the mother of the Shaw brothers, Queenie, is first introduced. We learn that the whole family seems to be either British spies or elite special forces.
Come time for Hobbs & Shaw, and Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) also gets introduced but Owen appears nowhere in a movie about saving her. Nor does he appear in flashbacks with young Hattie or Deckard. He only gets a quick mention from Queenie while she’s in prison early in the movie. Knowing how the series has done right by its characters over the years, we fully expect to see Luke Evans return as Owen Shaw in another Fast & Furious movie. That whole family could certainly warrant a movie of their own according to Leitch.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is available on Digital, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand.