It’s a little amazing that the Fast and Furious franchise is as successful as it is. Yet here we are with one of the biggest franchises getting ready to start its first spinoff series. It’s a very comic book way of handling a movie property, as Universal Pictures is basically doing the Fast and Furious version of a Mighty Marvel Team-Up with Hobbs and Shaw. The unexpected duo of Agents Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and reformed villain Shaw (Jason Statham) in the most recent Fast and Furious movie are getting their own movie with David Leitch as the director. Leitch spoke to Collider about how this is sort of an origin movie, which means it needs to be a bit more “grounded” compared to recent Fast and Furious installments.
“I think it’s going to be a little bit more grounded because it’s the beginning. It’s an origin story, in a sense. It’s not an origin story, but we’re starting a franchise. So we want it to be a little bit more grounded, a little bit more character-centric. We’re going to set up the stakes for these guys and their relationship, but we’re also going to have some great set pieces and some action that you’d expect from that type of franchise.”
When asked if he was looking at making a single film or starting a franchise, Leitch seemed to think that he could absolutely do both if necessary.
“I think you have to do both. I think long term. Obviously being true to the script and making the best movie, you do want to seed elements that allow you to expand the universe and have enough characters to move forward. If you look at the first Fast, they had the core group that allowed them to be able to have this ensemble that moved forward for nine movies. We have to set up the world so it has the potential to grow. That’s what I’m saying with, if we’re digging into their respective worlds outside of Fast, they’re going to have their own universe in a sense.”
The Fast and Furious movies didn’t get into continuity until later on the series, so there’s no reason they can’t do a bunch of fun standalone movies that are technically sequels to each other.
There have been rumors of behind-the-scenes drama with Johnson and various cast members from the other movies. It was telling then that when Leitch was asked if any of the character would make an appearance in these spinoff movies, he used the phrase “a little sensitive stuff right now”.
“I think there’s a way we could do both but I don’t really want to get into who would be in it and who wouldn’t be in it. I think that’s probably a little sensitive stuff right now. I think it would be a fun nod to have a couple of the characters come by and make their appearances. But I think we have a really strong point of view that we want to create our own characters for this world.”
Production for Hobbs and Shaw is set to start production this September, and it has a release date of July 26th, 2019. The Fast and Furious series has made $5.1 billion in the worldwide box office and has been keeping the lights on at Universal Pictures since 2001.