The Fast & Furious movies have been centered around Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto so far, but the franchise is about to outgrow him. The films started with a story about a team of L.A. street racers and has since evolved into a globe-trotting action spectacular with the same team (plus or minus a few members) taking on mercenaries, hackers, and terrorists. The franchise has become so successful it has even launched a spin-off for two of its characters: Luke Hobbs played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Deckard Shaw played by Jason Statham. And with the announcement that David Leith is directing the spin-off film, rumored to be titled Hobbs and Shaw, the stakes have been raised, and Diesel may be left behind.
It's no secret that there is in-fighting behind the scenes of the franchise. While the films claim to be all about "family", Johnson and the franchise's star Vin Diesel, have such beef between them that the two men cannot even be in scenes together. Which means, once Johnson gets his own film, it's more than likely that we won't see him return for Fast and Furious 9. With the egos behind the scenes it is sure to make for some competition and a fight for superiority.
Dominic Toretto is Still Just a Street Racer
Despite the increasing superheroics of the Fast & Furious films, Dominic Toretto, played by Diesel, is just a street racer. And a criminal one at that. Don't forget that the Fast Family started their operation by stealing electronics and their illegal activities and races are what drew Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) to investigate them in the first place. Toretto is a skilled driver for sure, but his talents just include fixing cars and driving really fast.
The Fast Family can take on all sorts of heists and missions, but when it comes down to it, the stories of the film are about the family and their street racing origins. While that hasn't stopped the movies from having increasingly outlandish premises, it has limited what the films could be. These people may perform outlandish missions, but they left the realm of believability long ago, with Tyrese Gibson's Roman Pearce serving as possibly the only character aware of the absurdity.
Compare that with Hobbs and Shaw. Hobbs is a former agent of the Diplomatic Security Service. He is skilled with weapons and more importantly has the United States government to fund and back his missions. Shaw is a former member of the British Special Forces. He was trained in hand-to-hand combat, is skilled with weapons, and worked as an assassin and mercenary. These two men have formal training and very specific skill sets. It makes sense to have guys like this on your team when you are faced with taking down terrorist hackers or any other number of criminals the team faces. Hobbs and Shaw have backgrounds that make sense for the kind of missions they are taking on.
If the films are to split, this could allow the Fast & Furious films to go back to their (slightly more) grounded roots while Hobbs and Shaw take on the next big case.