A few years ago, if you were to tell us that the Fast and Furious series would go on to become one of the most successful film franchises in the modern Hollywood landscape, we're not sure that we would have believed you. The car racing franchise has gradually evolved beyond its street-level roots, and shows no fear of adapting to the changing of the times. As a result of that willingness to change (while still retaining a core theme of family) the Fast and Furious franchise has handily become a significant win for Universal.

Now, coming off the heels of the reasonably well-received (commercially as well as critically) release of Fate of the Furious, all eyes are on the ninth installment in this long-running franchise to continue its upward trajectory. We still have a way to go until Fast and Furious 9 hits theaters, but we have put together a handy guide to everything and anything that you need to know about the project -- and we will endeavor to keep it up to date as new information becomes available. On that note, let's dive in and talk about the status of this hotly anticipated sequel.

Is A Ninth Fast And Furious Movie Happening?

Right off the bat, yes, Fast and Furious 9 is definitely happening -- although it's currently unclear what the official title of the project will actually be by the time it hits theaters. Last year series star Vin Diesel took to social media to announce that he intended to see the franchise through to two decades and ten films. This means (if that idea continues to hold strong) that Fast and Furious 9 may mark the second to last installment in the franchise -- or at least pave the way for an eventual reboot/reinvention of the property.

When Is The Fast And Furious 9 Release Date?

Following the April 2017 release of The Fate of the Furious, it looks like we will have to wait a few years before the next chapter in this franchise debuts on the silver screen. Fast and Furious 9 is currently slated for an April 10, 2020 release date, one year later than Universal had initially planned for -- but more on that drama later.

What Is The Fast And Furious 9 Rating?

To date, every entry in the Fast and Furious franchise has received a PG-13 rating from the MPAA. With the ninth installment in the series currently in development, we do not expect that to change (although it is worth mentioning that films like Deadpool, Logan, and John Wick HAVE proven blockbuster viability with R-ratings). That said, the Fast and Furious movies take their "family" theme seriously, which means -- even with the violence, swearing, and sexual content -- the next film will likely be suitable for a family with older kids to see together.

Who Is Fast And Furious 9's Director?

As of right now, no director has officially signed on for the ninth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise. The series was most recently helmed by Straight Outta Compton's F. Gary Gray, and before that, it found itself in the hands of The Conjuring's James Wan. However, with the ninth film in the franchise upon is, it's beginning to look like Universal wants to go back to a formula that has worked time and time again by bringing back Justin Lin -- who helmed every film from Tokyo Drift through Fast 6.

What's Going On Behind The Scenes Of Fast & Furious 9?

The Fast and Furious franchise is no stranger to feuds behind the scenes, but it looks like things have already begun to heat up behind the scenes on the next installment of this long-running franchise. Specifically, Tyrese Gibson called out Dwayne Johnson on social media for forcing the delay of the film. Not to be outdone, Dwayne Johnson has started firing back, and it looks like yet another cycle of Fast and Furious actors taking sides is upon us. As of right now, it is unclear how this drama is going to affect the final cut of the film (if it does at all), but it shows that we may be in for yet another tumultuous shoot for some of these actors.

What Is Fast And Furious 9's Story?

At the time of this article's publishing, we still have no definitive plot details for the ninth Fast and Furious movie. That said, based off of what happened during the events of the last film in the franchise, we can venture a few guesses as to where things are going. Given the fact that Dom "betrayed" the team during the last film, it seems highly likely that we will see more of that cohesive "family" dynamic in the next film. Moreover, with Cipher still on the loose (and given her status as the franchise big bad for the last few movies) it makes sense to assume that her shadow will continue to hang over these heroes.

What Other Fast And Furious Movies Are Coming?

Oh, you thought that only one Fast and Furious film was on the way? Guess again. Not only are we about to get another installment in the franchise's main continuity, but it looks like that car racing series has taken a cue from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That's right, we're about to get a spinoff film centering specifically on Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw. The spinoff is currently gearing up for a July 26, 2019 release date, and it has bumped back the release of the next main Fast and Furious film. We don't have much else to go by for this project, but other rumors have also suggested that The Nice Guys director Shane Black may be in the running to get behind the camera.

Vin Diesel As Dominic Toretto

As the actor with the longest connection to the Fast and Furious franchise, it stands to reason that Vin Diesel will once again return to the Fast fold to reprise his role as Dominic Toretto. Diesel briefly departed the series after the release of the first film to focus on other projects, but he subsequently returned for a cameo in Tokyo Drift before sharing hero duties with the late Paul Walker in 2009's Fast and Furious. Now he stands as the leader of the crew, and it makes sense for him to return as long as the character is still around.

That said, some big changes are on the horizon for Dom as we move into the ninth installment in the franchise. Much of Fate of the Furious' story was predicated on Dom's newfound fatherhood, and it stands to reason that we will see him continue adjusting to that life-changing event as he learns how to take care of Brian and provide for the rest of his adopted family.

Michelle Rodriguez As Letty Toretto

Like Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez briefly departed the Fast and Furious franchise for a few films during an arguably weaker era of the series. However, she returned with a vengeance in the sixth entry in the franchise, and she has remained by Dom's side ever since -- even through some genuinely bizarre amnesia. She pretty much goes wherever Dom goes, so we can likely expect her to return when the next installment in this franchise returns.

Having said that, there is still definitely a conceivable scenario in which Michelle Rodriguez might walk away from the franchise. The actress made headlines earlier this year when she called the series out for its lack of representation of female characters, and progress on that front could potentially play a significant role in whether or not she opts to come back. As of right now, it looks like she will return, but there's a clear pathway to her merely choosing to walk away as well.

Dwayne Johnson As Luke Hobbs

A guy like Luke Hobbs is where things get a bit more interesting for the Fast and Furious franchise. Dwayne Johnson has become a secure fan-favorite member of the franchise ever since his initial introduction during the fifth installment. His presence gave the series the box office boost that it needed to keep moving, and he has remained a focal point ever since -- even getting an expanded role with each passing film

That said, there's also a clear pathway to him moving away from the core Fast and Furious franchise. With the announcement of a spinoff film for Hobbs and Shaw, Universal could continue to invest in the character while also keeping him relatively distant from Dom's crew. Dwayne Johnson will definitely return as Hobbs in the future, but we are still waiting to see which films he will show up in.

Jason Statham As Deckard Shaw

Out of all the characters currently running around in the Fast and Furious universe, Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw has arguably experienced the most substantial character arc in the shortest amount of time. Making his debut in the final moments of the sixth film (in which he brutally murdered Han), the character went on to play the villain in Furious 7, and then become a reluctant teammate in Fate of the Furious.

Like Hobbs, Shaw is another character who could potentially stick to spinoffs for the foreseeable future. Statham has the box office clout to carry a film on his own (particularly if he's alongside someone as big as The Rock), but he's also a solid ensemble player who could fit in nicely with the main Fast crew. We do not know which films we will see him in, but he is going to play a significant role in this franchise moving forward.

Charlize Theron As Cipher

Charlize Theron made a notable impression on audiences as Cipher when Fate of the Furious debuted in April 2017, but it is clear that there's more in store for the character than that single adventure. Escaping out of her plane with a parachute, the film ended with her mysteriously gone -- thus setting up Dom's eventual quest to hunt her down and get revenge for everything that she has done to him. It's hard to imagine that Universal would actually allow the Cipher plot to go unresolved, so we have a feeling that the Oscar-winner is going to return to cap everything off. She's arguably the most dangerous bad guy in the history of the franchise, so she needs to be dealt with.

Kurt Russel As Mr. Nobody

If the introduction of Luke Hobbs helped Dom's crew eventually find their way to the right side of the law, then the introduction of Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody was what turned them into bonafide super spies. Nobody has easily become one of the most interesting and exciting characters in the entire Fast and Furious canon, and his involvement in the last two films has served as a catalyst for each story. Kurt Russell has not officially confirmed whether or not he will come back for the next movie, but if Nobody is still alive in the ever-expanding universe, then there's a very good chance that he will show up.

Scott Eastwood As Little Nobody

Like Mr. Nobody, Scott Eastwood's Little Nobody has helped continue the franchise's push into the world of espionage and world-sized scope. However, unlike Mr. Nobody, Little Nobody still has a long way to go on his journey towards becoming a badass. The Fast and Furious franchise has been missing a true "rookie" character ever since Paul Walker passed away back in 2013, and in many ways, it feels like Little Nobody is shaping up to take the place of Brian O'Conner. He even drives the same type of Subaru in his Fate of the Furious missions. There's no word yet as to whether or not Eastwood intends to return in the next film, but there's a clear arc for his character that could potentially play out over the next two stories.

Tyrese Gibson As Roman

As most of the characters on Dom's crew have evolved to take on more functional roles that suit the increasing stakes of the franchise, Tyrese Gibson's Roman Pearce has remained delightfully stagnant in his abilities. Primarily serving as comic relief, Roman is handy with a gun but pretty worthless when it comes to anything involving technology (or heights). As we have already mentioned in this guide, Tyrese Gibson made waves recently when he called out The Rock and started a feud over the future of the franchise, but it does not look like he has any intention of going anywhere. Smart money would bet on Roman returning for the ninth film to flash his smile and flirt with everything in sight.

Ludacris As Tej

If Roman Pearce is a Fast and Furious character who has barely changed at all since his initial introduction, then Ludacris' Tej Parker is the exact opposite. Initially starting off as little more than a street-level racer (like so many other characters in this universe), Tej has evolved into a world-class hacker who provides the team with all of their most invaluable tech support and gadgetry. His role has admittedly become somewhat redundant on the team now that Ramsey (arguably a superior hacker) is on-board, but as of right now there's no reason to assume that Tej is not coming back to join his friends on their next adventure.

Nathalie Emmanuel As Ramsey

As one of the latest additions to the Fast and Furious crew (she made her debut in Furious 7) Nathalie Emmanuel has not been given too much to do as Ramsey yet as far as solo character arcs go. However, the tech genius continues to prove herself as a valuable member of the team, and there's no reason to assume that the Game of Thrones alumni will not return for the ninth installment in this franchise. Besides, she is the only other woman on the crew besides Letty, and it is nice to have someone to offset the testosterone in these films now and then.

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