Fast & Furious 9: Everything We Know About The Action Sequel
Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and Charlize Theron are set to return for the ninth movie in the long-running Fast & Furious series later this year. The movie is simply titled F9: The Fast Saga, and will combine familiar faces with some new cast members and big surprises. Of course, when the first film was released way back in 2001, no one could have predicted what it would lead to.
The movie borrowed the title from a long-forgotten '50s B-movie and was an entertaining street racing drama featuring TV star Paul Walker and largely unknown actor Vin Diesel. It was a commercial success, which ensured a sequel two years later, which was also a box office hit. But as we've seen many times before, few movie series can keep up that momentum forever. From Men in Black to Pirates of the Carribean, there is always a point where audiences start to lose interest and move onto the next hot film franchise.
But amazingly, 20 years later, the Fast & Furious franchise is more popular than ever. The most recent film in the main series--2017's The Fate of the Furious--grossed more than $1.23 billion at the worldwide box office, and while last year's spin-off Hobbs & Shaw wasn't as successful, it still made an impressive $758 million. The series itself has changed considerably as the years have gone by; the films have got more and more ridiculous, and the modest stunts of the first film transformed into some truly wild and outlandish action, with the street racing plots shifting towards heists, chases, and general automotive insanity. All helped of course by a charismatic cast of modern action stars, including Diesel, Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, and Jason Statham.
But it hasn't all been fun behind the camera. The tragic death of Paul Walker during the production of Fast 7 in 2013 left some to wonder if the series would survive, and there have been public feuds between Johnson and Diesel, Johnson and Tyrese, and Rodriguez and writer Chris Morgan. None of these have hurt the series financially, however--they may even have helped--and audiences seemingly can't get enough of Dominic Toretto and his "family."
The ninth movie in the series arrives in theaters later this year. Like most films scheduled for release in 2020, F9 was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Universal taking the decision to push the film forward an entire year to April 2021. It subsequently moved again to late May, and there's still speculation that the movie could be delayed again. But with any luck we'll still see it in 2021, so here's everything we know so far about F9...
What's the title?
The strange full title of the ninth Fast & Furious movie is F9: The Fast Saga. It's not clear why it's taken nine movies to brand the series this way, but of course, this isn't a franchise with much title consistency.
When is it released?
F9 is currently scheduled to his theaters on May 29, 2021. But as things stand, there's no guarantee this will happen, so we could be potentially looking at a late summer or fall release.
Is there a trailer?
Although F9 was delayed in March last year, a trailer was released shortly before this happened. The promo was revealed as part of a live concert in Miami--it featured all the insane action you'd expect from a new Fast & Furious movie, and contained a couple of surprises. While we've known for a while that John Cena is the movie, the trailer revealed that he's playing Jakob Toretto, the brother of Vin Diesel's Dom. They don't exactly get on, and Jakob seems to be working with villainous Cipher (Theron). But the big shock of the trailer was kept for the very end--the return of Han Seoul-Oh, played by Sung Kang. Han was last seen in Fast & Furious 6, where he was seemingly killed off by Owen Shaw (Jason Statham), who is now one of the good guys because this franchise is incredibly confusing. But Han is very much alive, giving the series its biggest and most exciting surprise for years.
Who's coming back to the cast?
There will be many familiar faces in the next Fast & Furious movie. Most of the regular cast are returning, including Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto, Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz, Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto, Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges as Tej Parker, and Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey. Two of the newer additions to the franchise are back too--Charlize Theron will reprise her role from The Fate of the Furious as villainous cyberterrorist Cipher, while Helen Mirren is back as Magdalene Shaw. There are two notable omissions from the cast list this time around--Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham aren't expected to appear as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw. That said, the series has been known to spring surprises on its audiences, so you never know...
There are a few new additions to the Fast & Furious family. John Cena is set to play Dom's brother Jakob, while while Walking Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy star Michael Rooker will play a character named Buddy. Other new cast members include Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders), Anna Sawa (Giri/Haji), Vinnie Bennett (Ghost in the Shell), and musicians Cardi B and Ozuna.
Who's the director?
F9 is directed by Justin Lin. This will be Lin's fifth movie in the series, having previously helmed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), and Fast & Furious 6 (2013). His other directing credits include Star Trek Beyond, and he'll be back for Fast 10.
What's it about?
From the F9 trailer we know that Dom is now living a quiet life with Letty and his son, little Brian. But inevitably he and his crew are pulled back into the action by the return of Cipher, who is working with Dom's estranged and dangerous brother Jakob to cause maximum mayhem. Lin has described Fast 9 as the "most ambitious" one in the series so far, and the filming locations--which include London, Thailand, and Los Angeles--suggest a typically globe-trotting storyline.
More to come?
This might be the ninth movie in the series--tenth if you're counting Hobbs & Shaw--but the franchise shows no sign of slowing down. Fast 10 was initially scheduled for a April 2021 release, and is currently scheduled for 2022, although that seems very unlikely to happen given the movie hasn't even started production yet. Diesel has stated that it will be split into two parts, and in October last year it was reported that Lin had signed on to direct the final two films in the series. Beyond that, there's a Hobbs & Shaw sequel in development, plus a spin-off with a female-led cast.