The Fast and the Furious franchise has been racing along as a standard, self-contained film series since it launched in 2001, but that will soon change with an upcoming spinoff. Among the many highlights in The Fate of the Furious earlier this year was the dynamic between Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw, and it was announced shortly after the eighth installment's release that a movie centered around those two was in development. Now we can officially say that this spinoff movie is on the way, as it's been dated for 2019.
Word broke today from THR that the Fast and Furious spinoff movie is scheduled for release on July 26, 2019, putting it in competition that opening weekend with Terminator 6. This news comes just a day after it was announced that Fast and Furious 9 had been delayed until April 10, 2020. So while it will still be a longer wait to see the next installment of the primary Fast and the Furious series, fans of the franchise can now look forward to this spinoff keeping their appetites sated. Chris Morgan, who has written all of the Fast and the Furious movies since 2006's Tokyo Drift, will pen the spinoff, but no plot details have been revealed yet. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham also haven't signed deals yet, though considering that this movie is intended to be a starring vehicle for them, presumably their involvement will soon be finalized.
Luke Hobbs debuted in Fast Five as a United States Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent who was sent to apprehend Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto and his crew, but later in the movie, he teamed up with the fugitives so he could kill Hernan Reyes and avenge his fellow agents. By Fast & Furious 6, he became an ally, calling on the car-loving crew for special jobs. Following his cameo at the end of Fast & Furious 6, Deckard Shaw was fully introduced in Furious 7, where he killed Han Lue and attempted to kill the other protagonists as revenge for putting his brother Owen (Fast & Furious 6's main antagonist) in a coma. Deckard was recruited by Mr. Nobody in The Fate of the Furious to help stop Cipher, and by the end of that story, he had made peace with Toretto.
While the idea of Deckard Shaw still hanging out with Dominic Toretto and the crew may sound weird to some given that he murdered of their closest friends, the back-and-forth between Shaw and Luke Hobbs in The Fate of the Furious made it perfectly clear that these two would be prime leads for their own movie. It's also been reported that Charlize Theron will reprise Cipher in the spinoff, suggesting that Hobbs and Shaw will branch off from the main narrative to capture the criminal mastermind, and thus providing a logical way to keep up their rapport as frenemies.