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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Statham’s Fast & Furious spinoff movie is now officially scheduled to open in theaters on July 26th, 2019. This news comes on the heels of Universal’s announcement that the next mainline entry in the Fast & Furious saga, which for now is known as simply Fast & Furious 9, will be arriving in April 2020 rather than on the April 2019 launch date that was previously announced by the studio.
Johnson joined the Fast & Furious franchise in 2011’s Fast Five and has played Diplomatic Security Service Agent Luke Hobbes in every installment in the franchise since then. Reports of a spinoff movie focused on Hobbes and Statham’s Fast & Furious characters emerged around the time of this past spring’s theatrical release of the eight chapter in the franchise, The Fate of the Furious. Statham’s character, Deckard Shaw, began as a villain when he was first introduced in the post-credits scene for Fast & Furious 6, but had evolved into an anti-hero of sorts by the end of Fate of the Furious.
It was the strong screen chemistry demonstrated between Statham and Johnson in the eight Fast & Furious movie, in particular, that helped to fuel studio interest in giving the duo a solo film of their own. According to THR, longtime Fast & Furious franchise screenwriter/producer Chris Morgan will be writing the script for The Rock and Statham’s spinoff film too. No director has been set for the project at this stage.
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto and Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs in Fast and Furious 5 The Rocks Fast & Furious Spinoff Set For 2019 Release
Johnson’s growing star-power over the past few years, coupled with the ongoing commercial viability of the Fast & Furious brand, have led him to become a key ingredient in the franchise’s enduring appeal. However, as Johnson has begun to take up more of the spotlight for himself, that has caused friction with his costars in the Fast & Furious series. This not only contributed to the much-publicized feud between Johnson and Vin Diesel during production on The Fate of the Furious, it has also led Tyrese Gibson to publicly criticize The Rock – blaming him for Fast & Furious 9‘s release date being delayed.