Hobbs & Shaw 2 is happening and that makes sense. Over the span of almost 20 years, the Fast and the Furious franchise morphed from a Point Break knockoff into a multi-billion-dollar-earning, physics-defying, absurdist cartoon of an action franchise. (That’s not a bad thing mind you. While most of us would pause at questions like, “Can we parachute cars out of an airplane?” These movies answer with a resounding, “Hell yes we can parachute cars out of an airplane, just watch.”) Nowhere is that over-the-top, barely-clinging-to-reality approach more evident than with the spin-off Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
The offshoot follows the exploits of beefy lawman Luke Hobbs, played by the wall of human known as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and his antagonistic bro-mance with Jason Statham’s soldier-turned-mercenary-turned-antihero, Deckard Shaw. It’s mostly back and forth macho quips denigrating the relative masculinity of the other, battling with Idris Elba’s supervillain Brixton, and action sequences insane and unbelievable even by the FF saga’s standards. Battling a technologically enhanced super soldier, and almost completely ignoring the physical laws of the known world, this is where the franchise truly became the live-action comic book it was seemingly destined to become. Expect that to continue in Hobbs & Shaw 2.
Headlined by two of the biggest stars in the world, having earned more than $750 million at the global box office, and given the franchise’s penchant for sequels, perhaps Hobbs & Shaw 2 was inevitable. They’re not going to stars like Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham on board and not crank out a least a few of these. And given Johnson’s beef with Vin Diesel, who knows if he’s going to rejoin the main timeline.
For all of these reasons, Hobbs & Shaw 2 certainly felt like a foregone conclusion, even before Johnson came out and said it’s in development. In an Instagram Q&A, the former wrestler said:
“We are developing now the next film, the next [Hobbs & Shaw] movie, and I’m pretty excited about it…Just gotta figure out the creative right now, and the direction we’re going to go.”
That’s not necessarily an official announcement, but it sounds like Johnson is more than up for it, and the man, much like Vin Diesel, seems to have the power to will any project he wants into existence. Must be nice.
Even before that, however, there was some movement. In November of 2019, Hobbs & Shaw producer Hiram Garcia, when asked about a sequel, said, “it’s all in the works.” He even hinted that the events of Fast & Furious 9, which has been delayed until 2021, may influence the follow-up.
When Does Hobbs & Shaw 2 Come Out?
This is a big looming question. And right now, it’s one without an answer. Though the wheels are turning, Universal has yet to officially greenlight anything. Again, it appears to be inescapable, but it’s early going. Dwayne Johnson’s comments came at the end of March, and it certainly doesn’t sound like there’s much in place yet.
Like many movies, big and small, Hobbs & Shaw 2 has probably felt the impact of COVID-19. Most productions have shuttered for safety concerns. With everyone hunkered down and quarantined, that makes it difficult to have production meetings, interview potential creatives, and generally move a project forward.
With all of the uncertainty surrounding who’s going to be involved, not to mention we still don’t when business will return to something that even resembles normal, the release date is still up in the air.
Even if they come out of quarantine firing on all cylinders, the earliest likely date seems sometime in 2022. Hobbs & Shaw came out in August 2019, and following that path might give them plenty of time to put the sequel together and crank up the marketing machine. It also gives them a little more than a year after F9.
Fasts Five through (the upcoming) Nine all released in April or May (F6). Who knows if that means anything, but if the chips fall right, they could get into a rhythm to alternate Fast & Furious and Hobbs & Shaw movies every year. Just a thought. Whenever it comes out, Hobbs & Shaw 2 is certain to have a prime slot. Assuming movie theaters still exist in the future.
All of this also hinges on the schedules of the stars. Johnson has a ton of upcoming films in the works. The man is busy, and finding the time to star in another blockbuster of this size may prove difficult. Statham has a similarly full dance card.
The obvious ones here are Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. After all, it’s hard to have a Hobbs & Shaw movie without either Hobbs or Shaw. They’re likely contractually locked in to a number of sequels, and they legitimately seem to enjoy playing the contentious badasses.
Outside of the two protagonists, however, the rest is up in the air. It’s feels likely that Vanessa Kirby will reprise her role as Hattie Shaw, Deckard’s younger sister, a badass in her own right. We also expect another appearance by Helen Mirren as the matriarch of the Shaw klan. She’s already appeared briefly in two FF films and we will see her again in F9 next year. Like before, it probably won’t be a major role, but it might be more surprising if she’s not in the movie.
Perhaps other players with smaller roles could also return. Eiza Gonzalez’s Madame M. is an intriguing figure from Shaw’s past. There’s a story there, we just don’t get much of it, though there’s room to explore. Kevin Hart’s air marshal Dinkley helps the main duo out and could pop up to aid them on their next quest. And as family-centric as the broader franchise is, who’s to say Cliff Curtis, who plays Hobbs’ brother Jonah, won’t stop by for a visit?
Ryan Reynolds is a curious case. He shows up in a few scenes as CIA agent who wants to be BFFs with Hobbs. But he also plays another, less obvious role. Idris Elba plays the primary antagonist, but he’s just a pawn in a much larger plot by the terrorist organization Eteon. That group is led by a mysterious Director, but we only ever encounter his distorted voice. And who provides that voice? Ryan Reynolds.
Does that mean he’s the Director? Could be. It could also just as easily be a red herring.
There has also been a rumor that Idris Elba might return for Hobbs & Shaw 2, and that if he does, he might renounce his days of evildoing and become a good guy, much like Shaw’s arc in the franchise. How he could come back remains a mystery, especially since we see him die, killed remotely, in the first film. Still, this is a Fast & Furious movie and it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen the dead resurrected.
On the creative side, we have a little bit more of an idea. During another recent Instagram Q&A, Johnson indicated that co-writer Chris Morgan, who has worked on a number of movies in the franchise, will return to handle the writing duties. He also said that his own Seven Bucks Productions will produce. Director David Leitch has a number of big projects in the works, but might be game for another wild ride.
Johnson also mentions a number of actors by name. He says:
“We created a lot of great characters, from Vanessa Kirby’s character to Idris Elba, and Eiza Gonzalez. And now in this next installment we have a few more surprises and great characters to create. Not characters that Hobbs can just kick the shit out of, because that’s boring, but characters I think that you guys are gonna fall in love with. Villains, anti-heroes, and heroes all across the board.”
Does that mean we’re destined to see those characters again? Or is he simply using them as examples of the types of characters we can expect from the sequel?
What’s Hobbs & Shaw 2 About?
In a broad sense, Hobbs & Shaw 2 is about the continuing adventures of Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw. Aside from that, the Director, whoever fills the role, looks to be the main big bad, though how exactly that will manifest is a question.
There’s also been talk that the events of F9 may influence Hobbs & Shaw 2. How, only time will tell, but some have theorized that Charlize Theron’s Cipher might play a part or even be the Director. And the ninth chapter also introduces us to Dom’s brother, Jakob Toretto, played by John Cena, and who knows how that will impact the franchise as a whole?
Hobbs & Shaw has four scenes after the credits that could indicate where a sequel might go.
First, Locke (Ryan Reynolds) calls up Hobbs in the middle of a ruckus to inform him about a new virus on the market. Sounds like nasty business. Perhaps the plot of the next film involves that somehow. Then again, Locke seems to have it all pretty well in hand, so maybe it doesn’t.
The second shows Deckard and Hattie visiting dear old mom in prison. This sets up that the siblings are likely going to help her escape, which, given the family’s criminal proclivities, was pretty much a given. Could this play into Hobbs & Shaw 2? Perhaps, though if it does, it will probably be a relatively minor aside. Though a Shaw family prison break might be fun to watch.
Scene three is a phone call between Hobbs and Shaw. Hobbs called the cops on Shaw, sending them to arrest a man named “Huge Janus.” This doesn’t have much to do with setting up any future plots, though it does further their good-natured antagonism and maybe, just maybe, it’s the start of what’s sure to be an epic prank war.
Finally, we circle back to Locke again. This is where we learn definitively that, yes, it is possible to stab someone with a brick. While this looks like it’s mostly just a payoff to an earlier joke, Dwayne Johnson shared something on Twitter that may come into play.
Does that mean Locke joins the party in a larger capacity next time? Is Hobbs & Shaw 2 really going to be Hobbs & Shaw & Locke? It seems just as likely Johnson was having some fun on social media, as he does, rather than telling secrets about the future of the franchise. Still, it won’t surprise most to see Reynolds again. Especially if he does wind up being the Director.