infinite franchises

An Extended Fast and Furious Universe Is Taking Shape Around the Rock and Jason Statham

Photo: Universal Studios

Disney has Marvel. Warner Bros. has DC, and Universal has The Fast and the Furious. As the eighth installment of the Fast franchise moves toward grossing $700 million worldwide this weekend — which includes a record-breaking $190 million opening-weekend haul from the all-important Chinese box office — the studio is a step closer to turning those extended-universe rumors into a reality. According to Deadline, Universal has started talks with Fate screenwriter Chris Morgan about a spinoff that would feature Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, who formed the most recent movie’s charismatic core as the franchise searches for a new center in the wake of Paul Walker’s death. And really, the pitch of “The Rock and Jason Statham make an Odd Couple action-movie based on two preexisting and well-liked characters” only needs to be a Mad Lib after that to get green-lit and make a ton of money. Morgan hasn’t done any writing on the hypothetical spinoff yet, but the Deadline report says Universal is viewing the project as one that could get the money machines printing while the ninth Fast movie gets worked out.

If the studio gets farther into the extended-universe game with Fast, maybe Morgan saying that we will “definitely be talking more about Han” means he’s brainstorming a solo movie for Sung Kang. (Dream scenario: He already has a script on his desk about what Han and Gisele got up to between the fifth and sixth franchise movies.) Since seemingly everyone with a Fast past is willing to reprise roles and make cameos, maybe that means we can get a Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) solo movie and fully uncover how she woke up from that coma and started working for Deckard’s brother, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). That’s of course all vaporware and fantasy casting for now, but it sounds like the Rock and Stath as a breakout duo is on the horizon. Universal isn’t going to leave any extra Chinese ticket money on the table, after all, and by pairing up Shaw and Hobbs, the Fast and Furious leads will be able to maintain their lifetime-undefeated fight records against one another. Or better still, Morgan could write a truly surprising creatine-fueled blockbuster and finally just let these guys make out.

Jason Statham and the Rock Could Get a Fast Spinoff