For those waiting for Fast & Furious 9 to race into theater, that wait has just been extended by almost an entire year. Universal Pictures has pushed its Fast & Furious 9 release date from April 19, 2019 to April 10, 2020. While no reason for the shift has been given, there could be a few reasons for the shift, including the fact that no director has been attached yet, while another could be that the studio may want to launch a rumored spin-off first.
Last month, Fast & Furious franchise star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson posted a cryptic photo that some believed could have featured the actor signing his contract for a long-rumored Hobbs spin-off movie, that would reportedly also feature Jason Statham's character Deckard Shaw. While nothing has been officially announced yet, the actor's franchise co-star Tyrese Gibson called out The Rock on his Instagram, stating that if he moves forward with the Hobbs movie, he would have "ignored the heart-to-heart" chat they both had together, with Tyrese adding that he was only on his Instagram timeline because he wasn't responding to his text messages.
Just a day later, Tyrese Gibson clarified that he didn't have any problems with The Rock, stating that he's his "brother," adding that he just didn't want The Rock to shoot this Hobbs movije now, because the Fast & Furious 9 release date has already been announced, adding, "we can't let our loyal fans #FastFamily or our loyal fast and furious FANS down on any level from pushing the date." Tyrese Gibson went on to add that this year's The Fate of the Furious was so huge because, "we announced and KEPT our release date bro." While it certainly is intriguing that the Fast & Furious 9 release date has now in fact been pushed, just weeks after Tyrese Gibson's Instagram message, there still hasn't been any official announcement for this Hobbs spin-off, which will presumably now take Fast & Furious 9's now-vacated April 19, 2019 release date.
As of now, Fast & Furious 9 doesn't have any direct competition, but Universal had to push its animated sequel Trolls 2 from the April 10, 2020 slot to February 14, 2020, where it will face 20th Century Fox's Nimona and an unspecified DC Films project. Universal hasn't yet announced whether this will impact its plans for the final franchise installment, Fast & Furious 10, which has been slated for release on April 2, 2021. Fast & Furious 9 also made headlines this summer after it was reported that franchise star Michelle Rodriguez may bail on the franchise, if the filmmakers and producers don't start treating its women better, while The Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray, who hasn't been confirmed to return for Fast & Furious 9, wouldn't rule out the possibility of the franchise heading to outer space.
This all came just months after The Rock and Vin Diesel reportedly ended their feud that started on the set of The Fate of the Furious, with a report from April claiming that both Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson were attached to return in Fast & Furious 9. However, today's report from The Hollywood Reporter states that Vin Diesel is in fact set to return, although the report stated that it's "unclear" if Dwayne Johnson will be back. Hopefully we'll find out more about this potential spin-off and Fast & Furious 9 in the very near future.