The Fast and the Furious franchise has functioned as a standard movie series since it launched in 2001, with each movie telling the next chapter in one long story (with some of the events told out of order). But the next installment will branch off from the bunch, as it was confirmed earlier this year that the spinoff starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw is moving forward. Hobbs and Shaw's time together in The Fate of the Furious was one of the movie's highlights, so pairing them in a new adventure makes sense. But Johnson also noted that he believes making this spinoff is necessary so that the Fast and the Furious franchise can last even longer. As he explained below:
It's been a challenging process because I feel like my intention from day one, when I first joined the cast, was to hopefully come in, have fun, and create a character that people will hopefully like and try to elevate the franchise. But in the process of elevating the franchise, I have always thought that in order for this to have real longevity and legs, we should spin out and create characters that can live on their own.
Whatever your thoughts about the Fast and the Furious franchise may be, you can't deny that that the main series has evolved to stay alive. What started out as racing-oriented heist movies has since morphed into full-blown action blockbusters that can be downright cartoonish at times. But this evolution has paid off, with the Fast and the Furious movies released since the start of the decade all receiving overall positive reception, as well as both Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious surpassing $1 billion worldwide. But as Dwayne Johnson told EW, the franchise can be elevated further by taking certain characters and having the star in separate stories. That way even when the main movie series ends, the franchise can still live on through these spinoffs.
Dwayne Johnson joined the Fast and Furious franchise in 2011's Fast Five, where DDS agent Luke Hobbs was initially hunting down Dom Toretto and his allies, but later joined forces with them after learning they were framed. Since then Hobbs become an integral member of the crew, but over the course of Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious, he's developed a weird dynamic with Deckard Shaw, who was the main antagonist in the former movie and slowly became an ally in the latter. It remains to be seen how these two will come together for their spinoff, but even though they're now chummier, that doesn't mean Hobbs shouldn't keep a close eye on Shaw or give him a pass. He killed Han, after all.