We don't get to use the phrase "candy asses" on CinemaBlend enough. So we're thankful every time The Rock opens up a can of whoop ass on his #CandyAssed Fast & Furious co-stars... and several of them had to smell what Dwayne Johnson is cooking thanks to a family feud swirling around Fast & Furious 9 and the planned Rock-Jason Statham spinoff movie.
What is going on in Fast & Furious land lately? A lot of this drama can be traced all the way back to the making of The Fate of the Furious, where Dwayne Johnson (a relative newcomer to the franchise who joined the cast in Fast Five) had beef with franchise Founding Father Vin Diesel... allegedly. In an Instagram message shared more than a year ago, The Rock let off some steam with the following rant:
Love it. A legit peek behind the curtain of a massive blockbuster. In the run up to the release of The Fate of the Furious, everyone involved tried to play down the extent of the heat between Dwayne Johnson and his co-stars. As recently as five months ago, TMZ reported that Johnson and Vin Diesel had worked through their differences, and were ready to collaborate again. There are, after all, more Fast & Furious movies to be made. Why rock the very lucrative boat (pun intended)?
Only, some choppy waters were on the horizon for the Fast & Furious family. For starters, Furious 9 (or whatever it ends up being called) was delayed. Instead of arriving in theaters on April 19, 2019, it was moved back to April 10, 2020. Speculation swirled about why it was delayed, but then news dropped that the spinoff movie with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham's characters would drift into 2019. And franchise icon Tyrese Gibson took this move personally, calling out the Rock and screaming:
The pot had been stirred. How did Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson react to these bombshells? Read on to find out.
Tyrese Gibson's fired shots in The Rock's direction were viewed as a verbal hand grenade meant to explode the foundation of what had been, up until now, a very successful film franchise. Why would Tyrese take "swings" at The Rock, just because he accepted an offer to branch out and expand the _F&F _series to a Hobbs/Shaw spinoff? Well, as it turns out, Tyrese was saying that others in the series also were offered spinoff stories, but declined out of respect to Paul Walker's legacy.
Vin Diesel himself took the high road, saying he appreciated the time to plot the course of the next Furious film, posting:
What about the man currently resting underneath Tyrese Gibson's bus? The Rock finally chimed in, throwing the bulk of his immense weight behind the Hobbs/Shaw spinoff movie, with nary a mention of Furious 9 and the delay that likely was caused by the fact that he wanted to move ahead with this movie, instead. Addressing the controversy (sort of), Dwayne Johnson spoke up and said:
With the Hobbs/Shaw movie coming in 2019, what does that mean for the future of the Fast & Furious franchise? Let's put the pieces back together on the next page.
It sounds like the next chapter in the Fast & Furious movie that you will be able to see will star Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw. The as-yet-untitled spinoff movie will pit these action-movie icons against each other, and could bring in connected characters like Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and even mama Shaw (Dame Helen Mirren).
This movie has a July 2019 release date.
The following April -- April 10, 2020 -- will see Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his speed-freak family back on the road in Fast & Furious 9. If it's anything like the previous eight movies, it will race through global cities not yet explored by the saga, on a mission that would rival James Bond and could play off of Kurt Russell and Scott Eastwood's mysterious agent characters. But we'd expect Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese, Ludacris and Nathalie Emmanuel to be a part of the adventure.
Will Dwayne Johnson be back? If I had to wager a guess, I'd say no. The finale of The Fate of the Furious gave Hobbs an out, so it makes sense for this law-enforcer to branch out. Yes, Tyrese has a right to be upset that the focus on Hobbs' spinoff film pushed Furious 9 back. And who know? Maybe that delay cost Tyrese a chance to play Green Lantern, as he has been teasing for years. But right now, we have two stories in the Fast & Furious franchise on the books between now and 2020. Beyond that, the sky is the limit.