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Universal's enjoying yet another round of good fortune thanks to Vin Diesel & company, as The Fate of the Furious is racing through the box office like a souped up junker on fire. But there's so many popular characters in the franchise that it's kind of getting crowded. So sensing money in the air, and the fact that Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw are becoming as popular, if not moreso, than Dom and the rest of the familia, the studio feels it might be time to put them on their own cinematic path.
The news is fresh from Universal's offices today that a Fast & Furious spin-off involving Johnson and Statham is being actively pursued by the studio, on the back of the record-breaking weekend the latest film in the franchise has experienced. This isn't a complete surprise, as a spin-off with Hobbs at the center has been dreamed of since his introduction in Fast Five, but with The Fate of the Furious putting Hobbs on the track to becoming a stay at home dad, the odds seemed a bit shaky.
However, Deadline set the record straight, as they got hold of word that the brass behind the Fast & Furious wheel decided to take their chances and pull the cover off of their spin-off ambitions. This is only good news, as the truth of the matter is, both Hobbs and Shaw were becoming so mythically popular among fans that another sequel with them alongside Dom seems like a disservice to those who still feel that he's the main pull for this franchise. What's even more interesting is that in an item later released by Variety, a third cast member is joining the fray for this spin-off: Cipher herself, Charlize Theron!
At the moment, it's hard to be anything but thrilled that Fast & Furious will be giving Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham the buddy action flick they so richly deserve, especially if Theron is the big bad they're facing off against. The chemistry of Johnson & Statham as adversaries in Furious 7 and as comrades in The Fate of the Furious showed that not only can they keep up in terms of physical prowess, but they have an easy rapport that can go from tough guy to class clown at the drop of a flag. Mixing that up with the cold as ice villain that Charlize Theron brought into The Fate and the Furious is only the cherry on top of the vengeance sundae. It really feels like this potential project is more of a good thing, but that having been said, there are some matters to attend to.
This course of action now opens up the floor to a million questions when it comes to the untitled Fast & Furious spin-off. Will Fast 9 be a Hobbs & Shaw-less affair? Will this spin-off tie into the actions of the last two sequels, or be developed and deployed once Fast 10 officially closes out the series? Is Cipher going to actually be the big bad, or is she going to be teaming with law enforcement to fight a a larger threat? More importantly, will we get more closure as to why the Shaw family are now all seen as hunky dory allies to the Torretto gang? While this move is certainly a fair and just action, it does come with a lot of uncertainty. But then again, even the most secure of decisions open themselves to such a fate.
For now, Hobbs and Shaw will fight the good fight against Cipher's evil ways in The Fate of the Furious, which you can see in theaters now.