And we're off to the races! Fast & Furious 9 (which doesn't yet have an official title) has started filming, as revealed by stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Nathalie Emmanuel on social media. This edition of the long-running franchise is set to bring back some familiar faces, and bring us some welcome new additions.
Vin Diesel took to Instagram to share a video from the set after the first day of filming wrapped. Michelle Rodriguez, who returns once again as Letty, appears with him in the video. At one point, Rodriguez indicated she wasn't going to come back unless there was more inclusion for the female members of the franchise, as well as some diversity behind the camera. A female writer was brought on board and Letty's return was secured. Diesel had this to say in the video.
"We just completed our first day. It feels like a miracle. One hard earned. We're just so grateful. We're grateful to you, Universal. We're grateful to our whole team. Incredible crew and incredible cast, and most importantly, we're so grateful to you, world, that has adopted this franchise. Can you believe it? It's so awesome. We're so blessed and we love you so much."
Letty and Dom have been part of the series from the very beginning. A more recent member of the family, Nathalie Emmanuel, who joined the franchise in Furious 7 as Ramsey, also took to Twitter to confirm that filming had gotten underway. Here's what she had to say.
"Day one of shooting Fast and Furious 9 today... The team is back together"
The tweet was shared with six emojis, which seem to indicate members of the team, including herself, Dom, Letty, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Tej (Ludacris). Brewster makes her return after skipping out on The Fate of the Furious. Mia, when last we saw, was living a happy life with Brian, who was played by the late Paul Walker. There's no emoji for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Luke Hobbs, but with good reason. He's set to headline this year's spin-off Hobbs & Shaw alongside Jason Statham. As such, Johnson won't be coming back for Fast and Furious as well.
However, another major wrestler-turned-actor is going to help fill that void. It was recently confirmed that John Cena will indeed be joining in on the action this time around. It's still a little unclear precisely how he's going to be worked in, but he seems like a good fit for the series. Justin Lin, who previously helmed four installments of the franchise before sitting out the last two, is back in the director's chair.
To date, the eight movies in the series have grossed a combined $5.1 billion at the global box office and, generally speaking, have been trending upward over the course of the last five entries. Fast and Furious 9 is set to arrive in theaters on May 22, 2020. Be sure to check out the video from Vin Diesel's Instagram below.
Day one of shooting Fast and Furious 9 today... The team is back together 👨🏼🦲👩🏻👨🏿🦲🙋🏻♀️👨🏾💻👩🏽💻— Nathalie Emmanuel (@missnemmanuel) June 24, 2019