Guardians of the Galaxy star Michael Rooker is the latest star to join the Fast family, as he has boarded the cast of Fast & Furious 9. Filming is already well underway on the sequel. Cameras got rolling at the end of June, under the direction of Justin Lin, who returns to the franchise after taking a break from the last two installments. Now we have word that Rooker has signed on as something of a last-minute addition to the already impressive ensemble.
According to a new report, Michael Rooker is set to play a new character by the name of Buddy in Fast & Furious 9. There is no word on who exactly Buddy will be aligned with, be it Dom's crew, or if he might be an adversary. In any event, this is another big role for Rooker, who is best known for his role as Yondu in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as his role in the early seasons of AMC's The Walking Dead. Rooker is also signed on to play King Shark in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, and he has a role in Blumhouse's Fantasy Island movie. Plus, the actor is set to star in Amazon's The Dark Tower series. Needless to say, he's a busy man who just added another big franchise to his roster.
The cast also includes franchise mainstays Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson, who are all returning. Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren will also reprise their roles, with John Cena boarding the cast for this new installment. It was also recently revealed that UFC fighter Francis Ngannou will appear in the sequel. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham will sit this one out, as they both recently starred in the spin-off Hobbs & Shaw, which hit theaters recently.
Plot details for the upcoming installment are virtually non-existent right now. The script was penned by series newcomer Dan Casey, who is working from a story cooked up by Justin Lin. Franchise mainstay Chris Morgan ended up turning his attention toward Hobbs & Shaw, giving Casey the opportunity to bring a potentially fresh take to the main series as it enters its ninth installment. Lin previously directed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast and Furious, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6.
To date, the nine movies that make up the franchise have grossed an impressive $5.57 billion worldwide. The series has been on a major hot streak recently, as Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious both grossed well over $1 billion worldwide, with Hobbs & Shaw well on its way to $500 million globally since its launch earlier this month. That should allow for further spin-offs to be explored down the road, such as the female-led spin-off previously teased by Vin Diesel. Fast & Furious 9 is set to arrive in theaters on May 22, 2020. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.