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For years, there had been talk about the Fast & Furious franchise branching off into spinoff territory, and that finally happened this past summer with Hobbs & Shaw. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s respective characters teamed up after previously clashing in Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious. As it turns out, there was a specific scene in the latter movie that made the Fast & Furious creative minds realize is was finally time to move forward with a spinoff: the prison brawl sequence.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Hobbs & Shaw co-writer and executive producer Chris Morgan about the spinoff in the midst of its home release, and when we started discussing the history of developing a Fast & Furious spinoff, he noted how there was interest in spotlighting Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs ever since he was introduced in Fast Five, but that one Fate of the Furious sequence sealed the deal. Morgan explained:
The specific moment where it was so undeniable that it was going to happen was when we were shooting on Fast 8, and it’s that sequence in the prison with Dwayne and Jason. And they just start hurling insults at each other back and forth. Like, everyone’s laughing, they’re having the best time. The day on set just flew by, and at the end of the day when we wrapped, everyone knew there was something special there. The studio watched the dailies and were like ‘That’s awesome!’ That was where we all put our heads together and said ‘Okay, it is in the Fast world grounded in a Fast way, but the relationship is a little bit poppier, a little bit more fun and it feels like the first footstep into widening the Fast universe.’
We got our first taste of the Hobb/Shaw dynamic when they first came to blows early into Furious 7, but it was when the two men crossed paths again at the same prison during The Fate of the Furious that there really felt like there was a spark between them. After that sequence was finished, Chris Morgan and his team knew that they needed to capitalize on this duo’s chemistry.
In case you want to relive the gloriousness of Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw throwing insults at one another, and then putting their fighting skills to good use during a breakout, watch the clip below.
These two would collaborate later on in The Fate of the Furious to help the other protagonists stop Cipher and rescue Dominic Toretto’s son, but it was during Hobbs & Shaw that they really needed to learn to work together despite not being able to stand one another. By the end of the spinoff, Luke and Deckard are on slightly friendlier terms, but if they go adventuring together again, the jabs and taunts will surely be kept in place.
Had the creative leadership and the studio representatives at Universal not been so enamored with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s chemistry on The Fate of the Furious, who knows how much longer the wait would have been for a Fast & Furious spinoff. But fortunately for them, the cards played out the way they did, and while there’s no word yet on if Hobbs & Shaw will get a sequel, this first movie hauling in $759.4 million worldwide is nothing to look down at.
Hobbs and Shaw is now available on Digital HD, and you can pick up your Blu-ray/DVD copy on November 5. The next installment of the Fast & Furious universe, Fast & Furious 9, hits theaters on May 22, 2020. In the meantime, find out what else is heading to theaters in the near future with our 2019 release schedule and 2020 release schedule.