For its first 16 years, the Fast and the Furious franchise was a straightforward film series, each movie being a new chapter of the same, continuous story. But that changes next year when Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw turn off the main road and take a detour with their own spinoff. These two characters had fun chemistry together in Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious, and because they worked well together, that's why producer Neal Moritz and those involved with the franchise decided to give Hobbs and Shaw the green light; so the characters could properly shine together outside of an ensemble. Moritz explained:
That just evolved. Filming the past couple of movies, we'd see these scenes between The Rock and Jason Statham. But because these movies have so many characters, we'd say, 'We wish we could have more scenes of that relationship,' but there was only so much screen time. So we started talking about a spinoff. It just seemed a natural place to go.
While Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker are arguably the faces most associated with the Fast and the Furious movies, this franchise has definitely become ensemble-driven in recent years. So while each character has their moments to shine in each of the main entries, as Neal Mortiz pointed out in his conversation with THR, there's a limited amount of screen time for each of them. With Hobbs and Shaw, there's now the freedom to further explore these characters and their dynamic together without it affecting the main series. There's no word yet on if either Luke Hobbs or Deckard Shaw will participate in Fast and Furious 9, but for the fans and moviegoers who enjoyed the two being paired together, now they can look forward to them getting into trouble in their own space rather than cram new moments for them in between Dominic Toretto preaching the importance of 'fambly' and Roman Pearce and Tej Parker hitting on Ramsey.
Officially, no plot details for Hobbs and Shaw have been revealed yet. though presumably we can look forward to the eponymous protagonists driving cool cars and punching more bad guys in the face. Unofficially, it's rumored that the duo will be pitted against Mr. Null, a British international terrorist who dresses in all black. It's also possible we might see the return of Charlize Theron's Cipher since she escaped at the end of The Fate of the Furious, but that's not certain yet. It's also been reported that Hobbs and Shaw will introduce Deckard Shaw's sister, Hattie, an MI-6 agent, as well as Luke Hobbs' mother, Sofia, and his five brothers, with Jonah playing a particularly important part in the spinoff.