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While the Fast & Furious franchise is more popular than ever, that doesn’t mean things have been smooth sailing behind the scenes in recent years. For example, in October 2018, Neal Moritz, who had been a producer on all the Fast & Furious movies up to that point, filed a lawsuit against Universal Pictures over him being removed as lead producer on Hobbs & Shaw, and this escalated in May 2019 when Moritz was fired by Universal.
Well, consider the proverbial hatchet buried between Neal Moritz and Universal, as this Fast & Furious franchise lawsuit has been settled. As a Universal spokesperson told Deadline, the two sides have “amicably” resolved their dispute and “settled all claims relating to the Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw.” Furthermore, Moritz will now return to the Fast & Furious franchise, with the producer informing Deadline:
Fast & Furious has always been about family and unfortunately we had a little family disagreement. I am happy to rejoin my Universal and Fast family to continue to work on the Fast saga for many films to come. I appreciate Universal’s leadership team working with me and my attorney Howard Abramson to resolve this fairly.
In case you weren’t keeping close tabs on this round of Fast & Furious drama, the lawsuit, which was filed at Los Angeles Superior Court, alleged that Universal was in breach of oral contract and committed promissory fraud when it removed Neal Moritz from Hobbs & Shaw. Moritz demanded that he either be reinstated as lead producer on the spinoff or be paid out "tens of millions of dollars in damages in lost compensation.” Universal reportedly tried to work out a deal with Moritz, “a long, torturous history
While Hobbs & Shaw has come and gone, thanks to this resolution, Neal Moritz will be credited as a producer on the next movie in the Fast & Furious franchise, F9. The resolution comes a week after Universal failed to secure a bid from the Golden State appeal court to take this case behind closed doors for arbitration.
Now that this legal messiness is in the rearview mirror, Neal Moritz is back to contributing to this car-centric, physics-bending franchise, though that’s certainly not the only thing on his professional plate. Moritz’s other recent producing credits include Amazon’s The Boys, Sonic the Hedgehog and Bloodshot, and he also extended his first-look deal with Paramount.
Following our brief detour to follow Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw embarking on their own adventure, F9 takes audiences back to the main Fast & Furious narrative. The movie sees the protagonists facing off against Dominic and Mia Toretto’s brother, Jakob (played by John Cena), who’s joined forces with The Fate of the Furious’ main villain, Cipher.