After a very long wait, Fast & Furious 9 is finally looking up to a theatrical release after multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which stretched the sequel's release for over a year. The action epic has been given the approval for a theatrical release in China theatres, marking the long-awaited debut of the tenth installment of the long-running Fast & Furious franchise in that country.
Universal Studios, the movie's distributors, and the producers have however not revealed any specific release date for F9: The Fast Saga in China. The film is to debut in the United States' domestic markets on June 25th, but it is unlikely that it will hit theatres in China on the same day. China is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party on the first of July. The film producers might refrain from coinciding he release with the event as the government mostly prefer to run local Chinese blockbusters in theatres as part of traditional values.
F9's theatrical release actually comes after it was delayed thrice. The film, which was actually scheduled to release in April 2019, was pushed back to make room for the Hobbs & Shaw spin-off. The film then got an April 2020 release date, which was ultimately met with the pandemic shutdowns. The film was again delayed twice, switching from April 2, 2021 to May 28, 2021, before settling on the current June 25th release date.
Last year, Vin Diesel spoke about how he specifically wishes for the people to see his film in theatres in an interview with Comicbook.com, saying, "I'm so committed to the theatrical experience". He further added, "Obviously, I've dedicated my life to [the cinema]. It's a wonderful feeling to know that we're going to be there on May 28 with a movie that everybody is going to want to see together."
The Fast & Furious franchise has witnessed massive box-office sales in Chinese markets, especially for the previous two installments, which helped the film take a position among the highest-grossing blockbusters in Hollywood. It's pretty much reasonable for the producers to push for a theatrical release of the film not just in the United States, but also in international markets to cover the high budget of the film's production.
F9: The Fast Saga follows Dominic Torreto and his family facing a new threat from Jacob Torreto, Dominic's estranged brother, who has joined forces against Dom with Cipher, who is responsible for the murder of Dom's baby mamma. The film will star Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, and John Cena. The sequel will also mark the return of Sunk Kang, reprising his role as Han who was believed to have been killed by Deckard Shaw in Fast and Furious 3: Tokyo Drift.
The film producers have heavily marketed on Han's return with #JusticeforHan trending on social media at the time of the trailer release. So, F9 might clear the dilemma we all faced after Dom suddenly decided to forgive Deckard after he saved his kid Brian, totally disregarding the fact that the man also killed one of his best friends. Though it hasn't been confirmed, the fans won't mind Jason Statham showing up for a cameo, or a post-credit sequence, giving us a hint of the next installment or the follow-up to Hobbs & Shaw.
Directed by Justin Lin, who returns to helm the franchise after Fast & Furious 6, the sequel is awaiting multiple releases globally starting with a world premiere in South Korea on May 18th and followed by the release in the States on June 25th. This news arrives from Variety.