With New Cast Drama Unfolding, The Rock's Fast And Furious Spin-Off Confirmed

Members of the cast seem less than pleased.

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Following earlier reports that the gap between this year's Fast and Furious movie and the next would be bridged by a spin-off, Universal Pictures has officially confirmed such a project. A movie focused on the characters played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham is officially on the way, and it's due out before the next main entry in the series. But not everyone in the main cast appears to be happy with the news.

The as-of-yet untitled spin-off has a release date of July 26, 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It will be written by Chris Morgan, a longtime writer on the series and other movies, including Wanted and 47 Ronin. Despite the fact that Johnson and Statham are obviously key to a spin-off starring them, neither actor has yet to sign a deal.

"Fast & Furious is one of Universal's most beloved properties, and we handle every decision we make surrounding this franchise with great care," Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley said in a statement shared with THR. "The global brand of Fast & Furious is strong and full of iconic characters, and we look forward to continuing to build on the film that started it all, as well as expanding into different narratives beginning with our first spinoff."

This news comes not long after Universal confirmed a release date for the next core film, tentatively titled Fast 9. It's due out on April 10, 2020, meaning it will end up being a three-year wait. That's longer than the typical two-year gaps of recent years, which might be to facilitate the spin-off film. THR says the wait may be due to the prospective director, as Justin Lin could make a return to the series. He directed the fourth, fifth, and sixth entries in the franchise before stepping away.

Drama between the Fast and Furious cast is nothing new, but this week's news has seemingly generated some new commotion. Fast and Furious co-star Tyrese Gibson took to Instagram to take a shot at Johnson "for making the Fast and the Furious franchise about YOU." He also references Baywatch, the flop which Johnson starred in earlier this year. Subsequently, Vin Diesel posted a picture of his own on Instagram, which shows him, Gibson, and Paul Walker with the caption "Brotherhood." That could be a coincidence, but coming just hours after Gibson's post, it's hard not to see a possible connection.

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