While Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham might have kicked off their own adventures with Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, the main franchise will continue without them and they have a capable replacement to join the family. Filming is underway on Fast & Furious 9, and John Cena is officially a part of the new cast.
Co-star Nathalie Emmanuel paid tribute to Michelle Rodriguez on her birthday, and in doing so provided the first cast photo of the team with John Cena as the latest addition. Given all of the faces in photo, it looks like Cena will be an ally to Dom Toretto and his crew as they take the fight to Charlize Theron's villain Cipher in the new movie. Take a look below:
Cena's involvement with the new Fast & Furious installment was rumored before it was officially announced, and it looks like the actor is looking to take the next step in Hollywood stardom following The Rock and Dave Bautista.
When his casting was officially announced for the film, Cena took to social media to address the news.
"For nearly 20 years, the Fast Franchise has entertained fans and created some of the biggest cinematic moments in history. It’s an incredible honor to join this franchise and this family," Cena wrote on Twitter.
Earlier this week, co-star Ludacris praised Cena and welcomed him to the cast of Fast & Furious 9 with a touching message and photo.
"Welcome my NEW brother John Cena to the Fast & Furious Franchise. Now shits about to get Real," Ludacris wrote.
With Cena on board, it seems unlikely that the Rock will return to the franchise — or that he'd even be needed. Johnson is currently working on expanding the universe alongside Statham, and said as much earlier this year at Sundance Film Festival.
"The plan has always been for the Fast & Furious universe to grow and expand," Johnson explained. "As of now, we're not in Fast 9 because they're getting ready to start shooting. But who knows with Fast 10 and down the road, you never know. Because look, at the end of the day, the truth is, there's unfinished business between Hobbs and Dom. It's unfinished."
"Sure, I mean, look. This isn't about a separate world, this is a world that feeds into the Fast & Furious. We just did it out of order. Whereas the Avengers and Marvel universe, they started with their spinoffs and they got to Avengers, we started with our Avengers in Fast & Furious and now we're starting to spin it off. But it's to help support the Fast & Furious universe because obviously we have plans for 9 and 10, but who doesn't want an 11, 12, and 13, so forth?"
Fast & Furious 9 premieres in theaters on May 22, 2020.