The topsy turvy, wildly entertaining and financially solid movie franchise we have come to enjoy called Fast & Furious (initially called The Fast and the Furious) is getting ready to showcase Fast & Furious 9. It’s amazing when you think about it, all the ups and downs, the sad death of series star Paul Walker, the back and forth snipping between the franchises biggest stars (Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson) that the Fast & Furious franchise has been able to survive through nine movies.
What do we know about Fast & Furious 9? How many of its stars are coming back? We know nine won’t be the last one, but will ten? Here’s everything we know about the plan for F9.
BANNED BY AMC
AMC Theaters is America’s largest theater chain and in many cities they operate the only movie theater available. Recently they went head to head against Universal Pictures, angered by Universal’s decision to stream some of their upcoming movies instead of waiting to show them in movie theater. In response, AMC banned all Universal Pictures movies from being shown in their venues.
It was thought that AMC would lift the ban by the time Universal movies like Fast & Furious 9 are ready to be shown on their screens, but so far that does not seem to be the case. In a recent statement AMC had this to say: “While we are in active dialogue with Universal, no movies made by Universal Studios are currently on our docket.”
For their part Universal has refused to back down on their decision to stream some of their movies. While Universal still plans to release Fast & Furious 9 in movie theaters, they may not have movie theaters willing to show it if this continues. With neither side willing to change their minds, that could leave audiences stranded when Fast & Furious 9 drives through theaters.
FAST & FURIOUS 9’s RELEASE DATE
The next exciting entry into the Fast & Furious franchise was set to premiere on May 22, 2020. Due to concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus though, that release has now been cancelled. Instead first the movie was been delayed until April 2, 2021. Then that too had to change, to accomadate No Time To Die’s delay to April. So now Fast 9 will actually be released (we hope) on May 28, 2021
Initially while other movies like No Time To Die were cancelling or moving their releases due to fear that the audience won’t show up due to the Coronavirus, it looked like Fast & Furious 9 was going to hold fast. Vin Diesel at first loudly crowed about refusing to let the studio move it.
Talking to USA Today Vin Diesel had this to say, “[I] won’t fault anyone in the world for saying, ‘You guys are stupid for releasing this movie right now.’ [But] we need movies now more than ever. We’re already in a very interesting time where cinema and the cinematic experience is so threatened. So, yes, put it on record we’re going to show up.“
FAST & FURIOUS 9 PROMOTION
The Fast & Furious 9 trailer has arrived. Watch it right now here…
The F9 team has released a series of character posters for the movie. John Cena in particular looks totally jacked in his. Check them out…
The release of the first Fast & Furious 9 poster revealed that Han is still alive. And now that we know he’s still alive, they can work him into the promotional materials. So here’s his poster, which promises #justiceforhan.
WHAT’S IT ACTUALLY CALLED?
The Fast & Furious franchise has gone through more than a few title changes since the first one debuted back in 2001. They started with 1) The Fast and the Furious; moved on to 2) 2 Fast 2 Furious; 3) The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (longest title of the bunch); 4) Fast & Furious; 5) Fast Five; 6) Fast & Furious 6; 7) Furious 7; 8) The Fate of the Furious and now, Fast & Furious 9 will simply be called: F9 or F9: The Fast Saga. Short, sweet and right to the point.
RETURNING CAST FOR FAST & FURIOUS 9
Leading the way into Fast & Furious 9 is franchise star Vin Diesel in his seventh outing as bad guy turned good guy turned bad guy turned good guy Dominic “Dom” Toretto. After sitting out the second and third installments with only a cameo in the fourth, Diesel has starred in the last five Fast & Furious movies (including the upcoming F9). His character has been through many ups and downs but seems to be settling in on the home life with family. The movie is titled F9, so we’ll see how long his peace lasts.
Michelle Rodriguez is back for more Fast & Furious action as Letty Toretto, wife of Dom and mother to toddler Brian, named after Paul Walker’s character. This is Rodriguez’s seventh appearance in the franchise, one that saw her character come back from the dead after an explosion.
Rodriguez’s return in Fast & Furious 9 comes on the heels of a public flogging of the franchise’s producers for not giving the women in the series more action. Per her Instagram post she had this to say, “F8 is out digitally today, I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It’s been a good ride & I’m grateful for the opportunity the fans & studio have provided over the years… One Love.”
Jordana Brewster has had an on again, off again relationship with the Fast Saga and after her off again in the last two installments, she is on again with Fast & Furious 9. In the series she portrays Diesel’s sister, who had forged a relationship with Walker’s Brian O’Conner. Upon Walker’s passing, it is unsure how Brewster is going to be brought back into the series for F9, so anticipation is high.
Tyrese Gibson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges both return. Gibson made his first appearance in the Fast Saga’s second entry to help fill in upon Diesel’s absence. Since that time, he has show up on five other occasions, Fast & Furious 9 being the fifth. Meanwhile Ludacris is on board for his sixth time. Again, like Gibson, Ludacris came on board for 2 Fast 2 Furious to help fill in for Diesel’s absence.
Nathalie Emmanuel first appeared in the franchise’s seventh film, Furious 7, came back for The Fate of the Furious and now will appear in Fast & Furious 9. Her character is known for her hacktivism, someone who uses technology to promote a political agenda.
Despite the fact that everyone thought his character was dead, Sung Kang returns in F9 as Han. He shows up in the trailer and his attitude suggests that him being dead wasn’t such a big deal and he’s doing well.
Helen Mirren was first introduced in The Fate of the Furious playing Magdalene Shaw. She is a criminal mastermind, portraying the same character in the Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw. Her character is the mother of Fast & Furious/Hobbs & Shaw character Deckard Shaw.
Charlize Theron made her Fast & Furious debut in the last film playing the big baddie, Cipher. In it, she coerces Dom into working with her on the wrong side of the law. Her escape in this film sets her up nicely to return for Fast & Furious 9.
RESURRECTING PAUL WALKER
We’ve been hearing for awhile now that Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner will be back for Fast & Furious 9. Previously the franchise brought him back from the dead for a very brief cameo using CGI and existing footage of deceased star Paul Walker. You’d think that would be the end, but maybe not.
The latest word is that not only are there plans for O’Conner to appear in the upcoming Fast 9, he’s also going to show up in Fast & Furious 10. Stranger still, several sources are now claiming O’Conner’s appearance will be more than a cameo. That doesn’t seem possible using CGI and stock footage. If O’Conner is going to be a significant part of a movie, you’d think they’d have to recast him.
Would they recast Brian O’Conner? Doing so would seem to fly in the face of the franchise’s message about family and their repeated respect and reverence for Paul Walker as an actor and friend. But money talks and when it comes to the Fast & Furious franchise they’ve shown a willingness to do just about anything to make a lot of it. And usually, it works.
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE FAST SAGA
John Cena is set to star as Dom’s brother. His character is described as a “badass” which basically describes everyone in the cast. The trailer indicates that Charlize Theron’s Cipher character has hired Cena to kill his own brother and Cena seems totally into the idea.
Also new to the Fast & Furious team is Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy). All we know about this is that his character is called Buddy.
More new cast members include Anna Sawai (Ninja Assassin), Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders, Animal Kingdom), Vinnie Bennett (Ghost in the Shell), along with musicians Cardi B and Ozuna.
STARS LEFT OUT OF FAST & FURIOUS 9
We all know how big movie franchises love to keep their secrets. When it comes to casting and plot, movie studios are notoriously tight-lipped. It’s common for actors to only get bits and pieces of a script so they won’t be giving away any movie details. So the lack of information about Fast & Furious 9 is understandable. Frustrating, but understandable.
Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody was a surprisingly fun character introduced in the seventh Fast & Furious, taking a semi-bad Dom and turning him to the good. His character returned in the eight film but it is unknown if he will be seen in F9. With the planned spin-offs, don’t be surprised to see him in some capacity.
Another great character introduced in the eight Fast movie was Scott Eastwood (son of movie legend Clint Eastwood) as Little Nobody. He played a law enforcement agent who worked under Russell’s Mr. Nobody. Again, with spin-offs in mind, we just may see more development of Little Nobody who could carry this franchise into another direction, but so far he’s not known to be in the Fast & Furious 9 cast.
Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw does not appear to be in F9. Even though his mother, Magdalene, will appear, it looks like the feature film Hobbs & Shaw has taken Statham away from Fast & Furious 9. Never say never though.
And finally, Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs also does not appear to be involved with this Fast & Furious 9. After appearing in the franchises last four films, then jumping over to Hobbs & Shaw, Johnson’s absence from this F9 at first appeared to be the result of an on-going feud between the two megastars, Johnson and Diesel.
WHERE’S THE F9 BEEF?
The Rock joined the Fast Saga on its fifth film. His character, as was hoped and expected, was larger than life and a big hit so he was included on the three films that followed.
But it was on the set of the last, The Fate of the Furious, where things got really dicey between Johnson and Diesel. So dicey that the two did not film one scene of the movie together. In a candid Rolling Stone interview, Johnson confirms this. “That is correct,” confirms Johnson. “We were not in any scenes together.”
In fact, things got so rough that Johnson aired his dirty laundry on an Instagram post tearing up co-stars who failed to “conduct themselves as stand-up men and true professionals” and were “too chickenshit to do anything about it. . . Candyasses.” It was quickly apparent that the “co-star” in question was Diesel.
It finally came down to a face-to-face Johnson felt he needed to have with Diesel in his trailer. “Vin and I had a few discussions, including an important face-to-face in my trailer,” he says. “And what I came to realize is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach movie-making and collaborating. It took me some time, but I’m grateful for that clarity. Whether we work together again or not.”
Now The Rock isn’t in F9 and while he and Diesel might cite “scheduling conflicts” as the reason, given their history there’s probably more to it than that.
DIESEL AND THE ROCK REUNITING
Thankfully for Fast & Furious fans, there is a silver lining. While Johnson may not be part of F9 (though we all know how he loves a good cameo) Johnson recently posted a great Instagram video and at the :44 second mark begins to speak of and to Vin Diesel. Check out the video below.
THE MAN IN CHARGE OF FAST & FURIOUS 9
Back in the directors’ chair for the fifth time in the series is Justin Lin. He came on for the second film and went on to direct four in a row. He took a break to move on to other projects but is back to continue the adventures of Dom and his crew with Fast & Furious 9.
THE PLOT OF F9
Where the Fast Saga left off may not be where the series is headed. What started as an illegal car racing series has slowly morphed into more of an action spy franchise. We know Theron’s Cipher made her getaway; we know that Mr. Nobody was the one who delivered that news to Dom. We also know that Shaw showed up with baby Brian and handed him over to Dom and Letty.
From the trailer it looks like Charlize Theron’s Cipher has hired Dom’s brother, played by John Cena, to kill him. Where we go from there is anyone’s guess but definitely expect Dom and Cipher to cross paths again in Fast & Furious 9.
It’s starting to sound like the plot of Fast & Furious 9 may secretly send the cast into space. When franchise star Ludacris was asked in this interview if F9 might take the cast into space he had this to say: “You’ve just said something very important. I will say that you are very intuitive, because you said something right, but I’m not going to give it away.”
The scripts for the Fast movies have been getting progressively crazier and less realistic as they go on, so maybe shooting Vin Diesel into space is just the natural evolution of the franchise. Maybe it’ll even work.
THE FUTURE OF THE FAST SAGA
Fast & Furious 10 is almost guaranteed at this point and rumor has it that Jason Statham will return for that one, along with The Rock. John Cena is also rumored to return, which is perhaps a spoiler, since it means he probably won’t die in F9.
But the bigger news is that The Fast Saga is planning more spinoffs. They did it with Jason Statham and The Rock in Hobbs & Shaw, a movie that turned out to be a huge box office success. Now they’re giving other Fast Saga characters a spinoff movie.
First up with a new spinoff project is John Cena. Cena will make his entry into the Fast Saga in Fast & Furious 9 as Dom’s antagonistic brother. But Universal is so confident in how he’ll be received they’re already planning his spinoff movie according to this source.
The John Cena spinoff would have him teaming up with Charlize Theron’s villain character Cipher to steal a dangerous weapon threatening the world. If the plan really is to make heroes out of characters being set up as villains in Fast & Furious 9, then expect to see some kind of redemption for them both before the credits roll on Fast 9.
Gal Gadot’s Spinoff
In addition to the rumors about a John Cena spinoff, word is that Universal Pictures is developing a spinoff film that will pair Sung Kang’s Han Lue character up with Gal Gadot’s Gisele Yashar character for a team-up movie. Gisele Yashar was killed in Fast & Furious 6, but then Han is supposed to be dead too and we know he’s been brought to life for Fast & Furious 9. So why not resurrect someone else, and team the two zombie-characters up for a spinoff movie? Makes sense.
The latest is that Universal is now in negotiations with Gadot to get her to topline the picture. As it develops it’s starting to sound more and more like a Gal Gadot solo project than a team-up, but we’ll see.
It makes sense that Universal might be interested in bringing back Gal Gadot, now that her fame has skyrocketed with the success of the Wonder Woman movies. Sung Kang, despite Han’s popularity, is not a big enough name to carry a movie. Gal Gadot is a movie carrying star now, though, so teaming them up could actually make this work. Han and Gisele just may be the new Hobbs and Shaw.
The two biggest franchises in the world right now are Marvel and Fast & Furious. So far Marvel hasn’t been able to get Tom Cruise involved and playing superheroes isn’t really his thing. But Cruise does love making action movies and driving fast motorcycles, which makes him an ideal fit for the world of Fast & Furious.
So it’s no surprise that Universal is reportedly eyeing Tom Cruise for the world of Fast & Furious. If they’re able to get him, his appearance will be teased at the end of Hobbs & Shaw 2, which is currently in early stages of development.