Whether you love to hate or hate to love them, Fast & Furious films are a big deal. Ridiculous amounts of money are spent making them, paid back several times over by huge box office takings. They attract some of the biggest stars of the silver screen, and major directors too.
Sure, the franchise is pretty much unrecognisable compared to the beloved (and still very silly) first film, but it’s impossible to watch one of the most recent efforts without enjoying yourself. The next one - F9 - comes out this spring, and even though it may end up being the daftest yet, we’ll be watching.
In anticipation, we’ve chucked all of the important details for Fast & Furious 9 in this one post. Here’s what we know so far…
F9’s release date was supposed to be 22 May 2020, although it’s now due out on 2 May 2021 thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Justin Lin is back at the helm for F9. He entered the franchise as director for Tokyo Drift, staying in the chair for the following three F&F films. He left to direct Star Trek Beyond, replaced in his absence with James Wan for Furious 7 and F. Gary Gray for Fate of the Furious. Lin will also direct the 10th and final film in the Fast Saga, after which he’s confirmed to direct a Hot Wheels film (yes, really) that’s scheduled for a 2023 release.
When John Cena was confirmed for Fast and Furious 9, we just knew he’d end up having a manly, uncomfortably close stand-off with Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto. What we didn’t know is that Cena had been cast as Jakob, Dom’s estranged brother.
He’s described as (we’re not making this up) a “master thief, assassin and a high-performance driver”. He’s been hired by cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) to kill Dom, but don’t worry - this is Fast and Furious, so there’s a high chance they’ll be best buds by the time the credits roll. Something something *family.
Apparently in the Fast universe, burning to death in a fiery car crash doesn’t rule your character out for a comeback. Yep, Han Lue has returned. Lue - played by Sung Kang - had already been brought back once, appearing in Fast Five and Furious 6 via some timeline jiggery pokery. Tokyo Drift, which depicted his apparent demise, was retconned as having taken place in the future.
We yet don’t know exactly how he survived being broadsided by that Mercedes S-Class (revealed to have been driven by Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw in F6’s post-credits scene), or why he decided to stay ‘dead’. But we can expect the explanation to sound the cliche alarm loudly.
Fun fact - Kang has played Han in a film outside of the franchise. He starred as a dude named Han in 2002’s Better Luck Tomorrow, also directed by Justin Lin. The director has previously confirmed that it was, in fact, the same character, with the film effectively providing Drift King’s back-story.
When we saw that an orange ‘A90’ Toyota GR Supra was involved in F9 filming, we assumed this was supposed to be a nod to Brian’s A80 - arguably the most famous car in the saga. However, as seen in the F9 trailer, the car was given some black decals to echo the Veilside RX-7 driven by Han Lue in Tokyo Drift, since the A90 is driven by the resurrected character.
Other notable cars we spotted in the trailer were:
- Dodge Charger (B-Body)
- Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody
- Chevrolet Nova SS
- Noble M600
- Mercedes-AMG GT R
- Pontiac Fiero (with a rocket engine, obviously)
In line with previous F&F instalments, F9 is a globe-trotting affair. On-location filming locations included Los Angeles, London, Edinburgh, Tbilisi in Georgia and Krabi, Ko Pha-ngan and Phuket in Thailand. UK filming also included a stint at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, where the first scenes were shot.
The main characters of F9 should look very familiar. All the usual suspects are here: Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster).
There are, however, two notable absences: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as former federal agent Luke Hobbs, and Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw - the sociopathic murderer who was somehow everyone’s mate by the end of the last film.
Part of this will be to do with the pair appearing in their own spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw. Johnson’s feud with Vin Diesel - thought to be fueled by said spin-off delaying F9 by a year - might also be a factor, although the pair appear to have since made up.
Johnson has hinted that he may be back for the 10th film in the saga, although nothing has been confirmed. And Statham? It certainly hasn’t been ruled out - we’ll have to wait and see.
Having just been killed off from the highest-grossing film franchise of all time - the Marvel Cinematic Universe - Michael Rooker is now slumming it in the ninth-placed Fast Saga. Poor sod.
Rooker - who played Yondu Udonta in Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel - plays a character called Buddy, whom we currently know nothing about. But as a fairly notable star, we’re expecting the role to be an important one.
Had F9 not been delayed a second time (it had already been postponed once to make room for Hobbs & Shaw) and F10 remanined on track for its 2 April 2021 release, there would have been two Fast & Furious films released within the space of a year.
Right now, we don’t know when the 10th film will be in theatres. But will it be the last in the main saga? That’s the intention, although Vin Diesel has suggested that F10 could end up being split into two parts.