The next Fast and Furious franchise movie won't include the entire cast, but is that the only way it will be different than the other films in the series? Jason Statham says he expects Hobbs and Shaw, the new spinoff starring himself and Dwayne Johnson, will be a bit more grounded and a bit darker than the more recent Fast and Furious movies have been. He chalks this up to the style of David Leitch, who is on board to direct the film. According to Statham...
I think Dave Leitch's taste is a little more grounded and a little darker. If you see Atomic Blonde, and it is just superb, his taste is definitely in a world that is sort of how you described it. I think he's looking to do something that doesn't look exactly like a Fast movie. Although it's the Fast characters, he's trying to do his own thing with it and give it a real sense of credibility. I think Dave is going to get this one gritty, and real, and fucking hardcore.
While the Fast and Furious franchise started out as a fairly grounded story about illegal street racing, over the course of the series the stakes and the action have been raised to a point where, while the action is still a treat, the situations have gone a little over the top. The last film had Vin Diesel jumping his car over a submarine while Dwayne Johnson diverted torpedoes with his bare hands. There's nothing wrong with that from an action movie standpoint, but "grounded" is not a word you would use to describe it.
Of course, it's not like humor is a concept entirely foreign to David Leitch. The man did direct Deadpool 2, which was also an example of Leitch coming into an existing franchise and keeping the tone very much in line with what fans were expecting. Statham does say he thinks the film will still be able to have some fun with itself, so we probably shouldn't expect something that's quite Atomic Blonde levels of gritty.
Hobbs and Shaw will hit theaters next summer. After that, we'll go back to the main series of films, which is expected to see at least two more entries. Whether or not we see more spinoff films may depend on how this one does in theaters in July of 2019.