Filmmaker Justin Lin has confirmed that the sound mix for the upcoming, ninth Fast & Furious movie is complete, likely signaling that the movie is, in its entirety, either ready to deliver to theaters or very near ready. Given that the sound mix on a big, VFX-driven blockbuster like F9 needs to have at least a preliminary visual effects pass in place so that the explosions and car engine sounds can line up with what will appear on the screen. It's likely there are still some final visual effects left to process, but that the movie is, for all intents and purposes, pretty much done.
Lin shared a photo from behind the scenes at a sound mix screening, where he thanked the crew for doing their jobs amid the chaos and challenges of the pandemic. The filmmaker is set to direct the tenth and eleventh main-line installments in the saga (not counting the Hobbs & Shaw spinoff from last year) before retiring the franchise for a while.
Fast 9 has originally set for a release earlier this year, and has already seen its date move twice as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, and related challenges to production and post-production facilities. It is now expected to be released in May, as part of what promises to be one of the most crowded blockbuster seasons in Hollywood history as studios struggle to fill studios with 2020's delayed releases without throwing every planned 2021 release a year down the road as well.
While the finale of the series will be a pair of movies shot back to back, franchise star Vin Diesel actually implied not long ago that the tenth movie might be split into two parts. It seems that story is what he had been talking about for some time, but Universal elected to just call it two films instead of calling it a two-part single film.
"I started planning for Fast 10 before we started filming Fast 9," Diesel recently told Total Film. “The universe is so robust and so rich with talent and rich with story that, on one level, it’s totally feasible to have spinoffs, and I think that’s something that is inevitable. Universal deserves it because of how much they’ve invested in this little saga, and it’d be good to give back to Universal. And for the fans, should Fast 10 parts one and two be the conclusion, it would be nice for this world to continue for generations to come.”
F9 is currently slated for a May 28, 2021 release in theaters.