Why isn't Dwayne Johnson in Fast & Furious 9? The superstar joined the Fast franchise 2011's Fast Five as DSS Agent Luke Hobbs — brought in to hunt down Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew, including sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) — before returning in Fast & Furious 6 in pursuit of the dangerous Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). After delivering the Toretto crew a pardon in 6, Hobbs helped thwart a plot by Owen's vengeful brother Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in Furious 7 before rolling with Toretto's crew again in The Fate of the Furious to bring cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) to justice. Hobbs and "frenemy" Shaw were forced to partner up to bring down super soldier Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) in spinoff Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
In a January 2019 interview with MTV News, Johnson explained he would not be returning for F9 because of a conflicting schedule with Hobbs & Shaw. Johnson then hinted he could rejoin his Fast family in F10, releasing one year after F9.
"Who knows, with Fast 10 and down the road, you never know," Johnson said. "Because look, at the end of the day, the truth is there's unfinished business between Hobbs and Dom. It's unfinished."
Johnson later teased Hobbs and Toretto would meet again in a video thanking Diesel, a producer on the Fast franchise, for supporting spinoff Hobbs & Shaw.
"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," Johnson said in a selfie video published on Instagram. "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. 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.”
With a grin and a wink, Johnson added, "And of course, all roads lead to one thing... I’ll be seeing you soon, Toretto."
Johnson and Diesel butted heads when making The Fate of the Furious, but as of September 2019, that beef was squashed.
Reflecting on the filming of the eighth film in an interview with Rolling Stone, Johnson said he and Diesel had a "fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating," adding he was "grateful for that clarity" after a face-to-face with Diesel. Johnson then clarified he had "no ill will" towards his four-time co-star.
F9 opens May 22. F10 follows April 2, 2021.