How The Fast And The Furious Franchise Is Bringing People Back To Theaters Before F9

Vin Diesel and Nathalie Emmanuel in F9

Although it was a little under two years ago that the spinoff Hobbs & Shaw played on the big screen, it’s been four years since the main film series’ last installment, The Fate of the Furious. Fast and Furious 9, a.k.a. F9, was once supposed to drop back in April 2020, but thanks to COVID-19 pandemic complications, the movie is now primed to come out in June. Should you be wanting to rewatch the past Fast & Furious movies to catch up before F9’s arrival, it’s been announced that they’re heading back to theaters as part of a special initiative.

Starting Friday, April 30, Universal Pictures and its theater partners (including AMC Theatres, Regal and Cinemark Theatres) will launch “Fast Fridays,” with a different Fast & Furious movie being screened on that day of the week over the course of eight weeks, in chronological order. So 2001’s The Fast & the Furious will kick off this event, and it will wrap up on June 18 with The Fate of the Furious (Hobbs & Shaw is not included in the lineup). Here’s the best part: these screenings will be free of charge.

You can head to the Fast Fridays Screenings website to learn more about obtaining tickets from one of the more than 500 participating theaters (it will ultimately expand to more than 900 theaters), but so long as you click quickly, you’ll be able to see your favorite Fast & Furious movie in theaters, be it for the first time or the first time since its original theatrical run, without paying any money. Who knows, maybe some of you will try to catch all the Fast & Furious movies playing each Friday. Regardless, with movie theaters getting back into the swing of things following a year that wreaked havoc on the industry, as well as vaccinations steadily rolling out, I imagine this event will entice plenty of people to return to their local cineplex, especially since it won’t cost them anything.

Here’s what Jim Orr, Universal’s President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution, had to say about “Fast Fridays” in the official announcement:

The Fast films are all about family, and Universal wanted to find a way to thank our huge family of Fast fans around the country for their passion and loyalty over the past 20 years. We’re grateful to our theater partners for their help in making this screening series possible and we are delighted to welcome audiences back to theaters to experience the wild Fast ride all over again. And we cannot wait to blow everyone’s minds with the release of F9 on June 25.

Whether you take advantage of “Fast Fridays” or simply decide to watch the Fast & Furious movies on home media or streaming, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to refresh your memory on past events in this universe before F9 arrives. What was once a franchise that focused on street racing and smaller-scale heists has evolved into Dominic Toretto and his crew getting into snazzy cars and other vehicles to frequently save the world. Hell, Dom himself is practically superhuman in this point, and when you factor in Hobbs & Shaw featuring the cybernetically-enhanced Brixton, the Fast & Furious saga might as well be classified as a superhero franchise alongside the MCU and DCEU.

As for what we can expect from F9, the story will follow Dominic Toretto and the other protagonists clashing with Dom and Mia’s estranged brother, Jakob Toretto, played by John Cena. Jakob has allied himself with Charlize Theron’s Cipher, although what exactly they have planned besides simple revenge remains unclear. F9 will also see the return Sung Kang’s Han Lue, who was thought to have been killed by Deckard Shaw. Behind the cameras, Justin Lin sat back in the director’s chair and co-wrote the script with Daniel Casey.

Once again, F9 will race into theaters on June 25, and following that, there are two more installments left to look forward to in the main Fast & Furious film series. Hobbs & Shaw 2 is also in development, as is a female-centric spinoff, so we’ll keep you apprised on how those projects are coming along as more news comes in.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.