The Fast & Furious crew is coming back together for another adventure in the upcoming Fast & Furious 9 and it seems that two key stars are set to hop back behind the wheel one more time.
According to That Hashtag Show, franchise staples Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson will return for Fast & Furious 9. The actors are reportedly the first two cast members to sign on for the sequel which will be produced by Universal Studios and is set to start filming in April.
For some fans, Rodriguez and Gibson's returns may be a little bit of a surprise. Both actors had previously threatened to leave the popular film franchise. In 2017 Rodriguez, who plays Letty Ortiz, posted on Instagram that she was prepared to leave the franchise if its handling of female characters didn't improve.
"F8 is out digitally today, I hope they decided to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one," Rodriguez wrote at the time. "Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It's been a good ride [and] I'm grateful for the opportunity the fans [and] studio have provided over the years... One Love."
Rodriguez reiterated these concerns in an interview in September 2017, though she noted then that she had not yet seen a script for the ninth film. As for Gibson's reservations, those were tied to issues with co-star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Johnson is starring in a Fast & Furious spinoff film, Hobbs & Shaw that will focus on his character Luke Hobbs as well as Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw. It seems that for both Rodriguez and Gibson their concerns have been sufficiently dealt with, paving the way for their return.
The Fast & Furious franchise has been a huge performer for Universal. 2009's Fast & Furious brought in $1.5 billion worldwide while the most recent film in the franchise, Fate of the Furious was also a box office hit, garnering a worldwide total of $1.2 billion.
While Fast & Furious 9 is just starting to come together and isn't set to hit theaters until April 2020, the Hobbs and Shaw spinoff film just wrapped filming in London and fans got a first look at the film by way of a photo of the titular Hobbs and Shaw via Entertainment Weekly.
"When you have a franchise that is as successful as the Fast & Furious franchise, the goal, certainly my goal, was always to try and create a scenario where we have as much longevity as we possibly can have," Johnson said. "And in that spirit, you have to evolve, and you have to spin off and you have to create new characters and new stories, especially when you’re coming off Fast 8, where you have an eight at the end of your title. [Laughs.] And while that one was wildly successful as well, we all collectively felt, myself, Jason Statham, the studio, all right, now’s the time, let’s make our move. So it’s been pretty surreal, but it’s also been a lot of fun and pretty exciting."
Fast & Furious 9 is expected in theaters April 2020. Hobbs & Shaw opens August 2, 2019.