Since The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, writer Chris Morgan has been the engine behind the storytelling of Fast and Furious franchise. From his pen, characters like Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw have sprung forth with smoking E-brakes, clenched fists, and witty one liners to spare. It's the sort of stuff that the franchise found its footing with, eventually turning it into the eight entry giant that we all know and love. Well, that's about to change, as Morgan is out, and writer Daniel Casey is in for Fast & Furious 9.
Coming in off the strength of two scripts, this August's Kin and an unproduced superhero riff entitled The Heavy, Casey has been drafted at a time when Chris Morgan's fellow Fast & Furious stalwart, Justin Lin, is returning to the director's chair for the first time since Fast & Furious 6. Though according to THR, Morgan's departure is more of a lateral move than a total removal. While Morgan may not be working on the series proper, he's going to be producing and writing the Hobbs & Shaw spin-off, which sees Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham's newly forged power duo taking off on an adventure of their own.
On the surface, this might give long time fans of the mega blockbuster franchise pause, as the Fast & Furious movies were running pretty strong. With Chris Morgan's hand on the wheel, Dom, Letty, Brian, and Mia have seen some of their best days, their most thrilling moments, and even their most bittersweet scenes. Not to mention, while The Fate of the Furious may have still been a banner success for the series, there's still a bit of fatigue that could be felt in the film's story. With that in mind, Daniel Casey's hiring could also be seen as the thing that these last couple of films are looking for.
With Fast 9 and Fast 10 acting as the last two films in the series proper, getting a fresh perspective for those final moments is a really good idea. Considering that Chris Morgan has worked on six Fast & Furious films over the course of 11 years of franchise history, he's already had quite a stretch in a world that lives a quarter of a mile at a time. Any writer, no matter how good they are, knows when it's time to leave the desk and let a new wordsmith take the reins. So letting Daniel Casey bring a new mind to this established canon could push things in a direction that they've never gone in. Like, say, the very sci-fi friendly realm of space.
Bringing on Daniel Casey gives the Fast & Furious franchise some fresh oil to the story engine, while having Chris Morgan working on Hobbs & Shaw gives the spin-off a chance to be a long lasting success in its own right. As the sun sets on Dominic Toretto and his band of rogues, this is the best life this intellectual property can be living, as both an explosive finale and an incendiary beginning are both about to kick off. More specifically, we'll see that finale starting on Fast 9's April 10, 2020 release date, with Hobbs & Shaw looking like it'll take off on July 26, 2019. So if you were looking to see something other than Deadpool 2 this weekend, you'll have to check our 2018 release schedule to find what's out there.