Universal's Fast and Furious Spin-Off starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham now officially has a director. We reported in February that Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch had been eyed to take the helm, and now he's been confirmed, with the official Fast & Furious Twitter channel welcoming him to the family. With production reportedly slated to begin this fall, it seems everything is coming into place for this currently untitled action thriller.
While promoting Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle last month, Dwayne Johnson teased that there will be a lot of surprises in store for fans in this spin-off. No official story details have been released at this time, but there was originally set to be a post-credit scene at the end of last year's The Fate of the Furious, which featured Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw, which was intended to set up this spin-off. There were rumors that Vin Diesel went to the studio and asked for this scene to be removed from the film, and that the studio obliged.
Aside from Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, no other cast members have been confirmed, although it seems likely that neither Vin Diesel, nor Tyrese Gibson will be appearing in this spin-off, given their previous feuds with Dwayne Johnson. Both Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson reportedly clashed while filming The Fate of the Furious, with Dwayne Johnson posting a cryptic social media post calling out some of his male co-stars, and it was widely believed, and later confirmed, that he was talking about Vin Diesel. The Rock even hinted that he may not work with Vin Diesel again, meaning that we may not see Hobbs in Fast & Furious 9, which was pushed from a 2019 date to 2020, or the final franchise installment, Fast & Furious 10, which is still slated for a 2021 release.
As for Tyrese Gibson, the actor feuded with The Rock last year after Johnson's plans for this spin-off were made public, before Universal delayed Fast & Furious 9. Tyrese called out The Rock for "going solo" pleading with the actor to not move forward with this spin-off, but the spin-off is now happening, with Fast & Furious 9 slated to start filming next year. After having a discussion with Dwayne Johnson's people, Tyrese pledged never to post about The Rock on social media again, as their feud came to an end. Given The Rock's cryptic comments about possibly not working with Vin Diesel again, it's possible that The Rock and Tyrese may not work again either.
David Leitch will work from a script by Chris Morgan, who has written all of the Fast & Furious movies since Tokyo Drift. As of now, this spin-off has the July 26, 2019 date to itself, but it will be situated between Disney's The Lion King live-action remake on July 19, 2019 and 20th Century Fox's The New Mutants and Paramount's Dora the Explorer on August 2, 2019. David Leitch's next film, Deadpool 2 will hit theaters on May 18. Take a look at the tweet below from Fast & Furious Twitter that confirms David Leitch will direct this spin-off.