Following The Fate of the Furious' release last year, the Fast and Furious franchise is diverging onto two paths. Fast & Furious 9 is still scheduled for release in 2020, but before that, Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw will team up for the appropriately titled spinoff, Hobbs and Shaw. With principal photography beginning in the coming weeks, casting information is finally starting to trickle in, and the latest news is that Idris Elba will be joining the Hobbs and Shaw cast.

According to Variety, Idris Elba is in final negotiations to board Hobbs and Shaw as the spinoff's main villain, though details about this character were revealed. Once all the paperwork is in order, Elba would be the fourth actor to be added to this movie, as it was reported earlier this week that The Crown's Vanessa Kirby is joining Hobbs and Shaw to play Deckard Shaw's sister, an MI-5 agent.

Well-known on TV for his performances as Stringer Bell and John Luther in The Wire and Luther, respectively, Idris Elba's movie career has taken off over the last decade with blockbusters like the Thor trilogy, Pacific Rim, Star Trek Beyond and The Jungle Book. In those latter two movies, he served as the main antagonist, so Hobbs and Shaw won't be his first go-around with giving cinematic heroes trouble. Elba is also another example of high caliber actors who have lent their talents to the Fast and Furious movies in recent years, like Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron.

So far no official plot details for Hobbs and Shaw have been disclosed yet, other than the fact that Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw will be splitting off from the main Fast and Furious cast to go on their own adventure and build on the chemistry they established in The Fate of the Furious. Unofficially, in addition to Deckard (and Owen) Shaw's sister playing a role in the spinoff, it's rumored that Hobbs' mother and five brothers will be introduced, with "Jonah" Hobbs reportedly playing a big role. As for Idris Elba's character, it was also rumored that Hobbs and Shaw's main antagonist is a mysterious, British international terrorist named "Mr. Null" who dresses in all black. This is definitely a role that Elba could pull off, but until more information comes in, we can't discount that he might be playing someone else, like a corrupt government figure.

Directed by Deadpool 2's David Leitch and written by longtime Fast and Furious contributor Chris Morgan, Hobbs and Shaw races into theaters on August 2, 2019, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage about its development. In the meantime, be sure to look through our 2018 release schedule to learn what movies are opening later this year.

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