F9 Director on Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham's Hobbs & Shaw Returns in Fast & Furious Saga Finale

Fast & Furious 9 director Justin Lin isn't ruling out Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw's (Jason Statham) return to the Fast Saga after Universal Pictures paired off the characters in the franchise's first spin-off Hobbs & Shaw. Lin also returns to the saga with F9 — he directed installments Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6 and will bring Universal's highest-grossing franchise to the end of the road with a two-part finale in Fast 10 and Furious 11. As the studio preps the Johnson and Statham-starring Hobbs & Shaw 2, Lin says "any character ... is up for discussion" to return in the Fast Saga finale:

"I never really considered them gone, you know? To me, they're still in this universe; they're part of this family," Lin told Deadline. "Whatever we do, whenever we're talking about the next chapter, I never feel like I have any restrictions, so I'm excited for what we build, and as we're coming to this kind of final chapter of this saga, I think I'm excited to revisit ... any character, in any situation, is up for discussion."

Johnson and Statham aren't expected to appear in F9, which adds John Cena as Dom (Vin Diesel) and Mia Toretto's (Jordana Brewster) forsaken brother. Johnson — who joined the franchise in Lin's Fast Five, returning for Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, and The Fate of the Furious before spinning out into Hobbs & Shaw — previously hinted at his return to the main series after ending his apparent feud with Diesel.

Addressing Diesel in a 2019 video published on Instagram, Johnson thanked the Fast & Furious franchise star and producer for supporting Hobbs & Shaw and for extending an invitation to join the franchise in 2011's Fast Five.

"As you know, and what a wild ride this is, and what a wild ride this has been, ten years ago when you and I spoke and you invited me into the Fast & Furious family. I'm grateful for that invite, and as you know, my goal was always — all these years — to come into the Fast & Furious world and help elevate the franchise in any way that I possibly could," Johnson said at the time. "If I could do that, then I've done my job. And now here we are ten years later, this massively successful build-out and expansion. We did it the right way, we did it the smart way, and again brother, I appreciate your support."

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With a grin and a wink, Johnson added: And of course, all roads lead to one thing... I'll be seeing you soon, Toretto."

Starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron, F9 races into theaters on June 25.