Yesterday it was announced that the next Fast and Furious movie - number 9 in the franchise - was being pushed back to 2020, and now we know why.
Universal aren't planning on letting the saga rest, but instead are releasing a spin-off next year - and not just any old spin-off, but one starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Jason Statham (via The Hollywood Reporter).
The currently untitled movie has been given a July 26, 2019 release date, with a script from Chris Morgan (writer of every F&F movie since Tokyo Drift). The focus will be on Johnson and Statham's characters Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, who first crossed paths as enemies in Fast 7, before teaming up in Fate of the Furious.
The pair's on-screen chemistry and action sequences were a real highlight, so the prospect of a spin-off centred on the two of them is an exciting one, and likely to be another big hit for the franchise.
There's no director attached to the movie as yet, but Variety reports that Shane Black is one of the names being eyed. There's no official word on that front, and won't be until the script is finished, but Black - as the king of the buddy-cop genre - should be a great fit, and he and Johnson are already planning on working together for the long-gestating Doc Savage movie.
A director choice may also explain the delay in Fast & Furious 9, with THR's article stating Universal want Justin Lin to return to direct, and scheduling conflicts mean it would need to be pushed back for that to happen.
While the news of a spin-off is going to get a lot of people excited, one person who wasn't happy was Tyrese Gibson. After news broke of Fast 9 being delayed, and just before it was revealed the spin-off was coming in 2019, he posted the following on Instagram:
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.