Last year, the first trailer for Fast & Furious 9, a.k.a. F9, dropped, and among the big reveals was that Sung Kang’s Han Lue, who was thought to have been killed during the events of Tokyo Drift/Furious 7, was still alive. This big return followed years after the #JusticeForHan movement launched, which protested that the man who temporarily took Han off the board, Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, was warmly welcomed into Dominic Toretto’s crew at the end of The Fate of the Furious. One minute Shaw was a villain, now he’s been firmly positioned as a hero in this franchise.
It’s still a mystery how Han Lue is still alive, but F9 director Justin Lin was adamant that the character return, and he even promoted #JusticeForHan during the filming of the next Fast & Furious movie, long before we knew Han would be back. As for the campaign itself, Lue shared his thoughts in an interview with Empire, saying:
The whole #JusticeForHan thing – it made me think, ‘Wow, there are actually people that appreciate the work I did as an actor.’ In my own Hollywood struggle as an Asian-American, in your darkest hours, you go, ‘Wow, there are actually people from all over the world that appreciate what I did with that character.’
Well, if any filmmaker was going to bring Han Lue back into the Fast & Furious world, it’d be Justin Lin. Not only has he direct all the Fast & Furious movies where Han appeared, but both he and Sung Kang decided that Han is the same individual the latter played in 2002’s Better Luck Tomorrow, which came out just a year after The Fast & the Furious. So the character already meant a lot to both of them, but the #JusticeForHan movement made Kang realize that the fans were incredibly passionate about Han as well. Earlier this year, Vin Diesel also talked about Han’s importance to the Fast & Furious world, saying how he was representative of F9’s theme: don’t give up on family.
Rest assured, the wildness of Han Lue coming back into play is not lost on Sung Kang, with the actor describing his Fast & Furious journey as “crazy.” Along with learning how Han survived that fiery blaze, F9 will also handle #JusticeForHan in its own way. It’ll be interesting to see how that’s done considering that Jason Statham isn’t expected to appear as Deckard Shaw since he and Dwayne Johnson were busy shooting the Hobbs & Shaw spinoff. Still, even with whatever F9 has in store, maybe there’s a chance these two characters could finally come face-to-face in one of the final two Fast & Furious movies.
F9 will also see John Cena debuting as Jakob Toretto, Dom and Mia’s estranger brother who’s allied himself with Charlize Theron’s Cipher. More than a year after the movie was originally supposed to come out, F9 will now speed into theaters on June 25. Browse through our upcoming 2021 movies guide to learn what else hits the big screen later this year.