A little over two months ago, we reported that David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) was the frontrunner to direct the Fast and Furious spin-off film, Hobbs & Shaw, which will be focusing on Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham‘s respective franchise characters. Now, Universal has officially set Leitch as the director in earnest. This is but the next step in getting this highly anticipated, high-octane picture into production.
Johnson’s Luke Hobbs, the former Diplomatic Security Service agent, and Statham’s Deckard Shaw, murderous anti-hero, will likely continue their bromance established in The Fate of the Furious. Fast & Furious screenwriter Chris Morgan, the pen behind every script since Tokyo Drift, also turned in the spinoff script, but no other plot points are currently available. With a planned release date of July 26, 2019–arriving in theaters before the ninth installment of the parent franchise–Hobbs & Shaw could clear the road for both Johnson and Statham to separate themselves from the “Family” of Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel). And the capable, action-focused direction of Leitch will be leading the way.
Check out the confirmation below:
Doesn’t get much more definitive than that. It also doesn’t get much more definitive, when talking about the on-set feud between Johnson and Diesel, than the former’s recent comments about likely not returning for the next installment of the Fast and Furious franchise:
“Vin and I had a few discussions, including an important face-to-face in my trailer, and what I came to realize is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating. It took me some time, but I’m grateful for that clarity. Whether we work together again or not.”
Whether or not Johnson will return for Fast and Furious 9…
“I’m not quite sure. Right now I’m concentrating on making the spinoff [Hobbs and Shaw] as good as it can be, but I wish him all the best, and I harbor no ill will there, just because of the clarity we have…Actually, you can erase that last part about ‘no ill will.’ We’ll just keep it with the clarity.”
Stay tuned for more on the Hobbs & Shaw spin-off now that Leitch is on board.