It seems the rumors are true, with Universal Pictures setting a July 26, 2019 release date for a currently-untitled Fast and Furious Spin-Off, which will star Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. This comes just one day after the studio pushed its Fast & Furious 9 release date up a whole year, from April 19, 2019 to April 10, 2020. It was rumored that the release date was pushed because of this long-rumored spin-off, which lies at the heart of a feud between Dwayne Johnson and Tyrese Gibson.
We first reported on this spin-off back in April, which brings together Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw (Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham). This spin-off was even teased in The Fate of the Furious post-credit scene that was never shown in the film, because Vin Diesel was reportedly not pleased with the scene and vetoed it. The scene in question featured both Hobbs and Shaw bantering together, with the April report claiming that the studio wanted to get this spin-off going while they figured out what to do with Fast & Furious 9, which still doesn't have a director attached. No plot details have been given yet, except that this story will feature both Hobbs, a U.S. Diplomatic Security agent, teaming up with the former villain Shaw.
Both Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham were rather late additions to the Fast & Furious franchise, with The Rock coming aboard as Hobbs in 2011's Fast Five, where he was originally pursuing Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team, before ultimately joining the team. Deckard Shaw was first introduced at the end of Fast & Furious 6, where it was revealed that he was the mysterious driver that killed Han (Sung Kang) at the very end of the third movie, Tokyo Drift. Both characters interacted with each other while locked up in prison in The Fate of the Furious, and now we'll seemingly get to see how they work together while not locked up behind bars.
This project also created a new feud between Tyrese Gibson, who has played Roman Pearce since 2003's 2 Fast 2 Furious, took to social media to where Tyrese begged Dwayne Johnson to drop this spin-off, stating that the whole cast is a family, and that they don't, "fly solo." Tyrese's pleas were made after with The Rock posted photos from his "GSD table" (Get s--t done table) of the actor signing some documents, although it seems those pleas fell on deaf ears. After the release date was pushed yesterday, the Tyrese and The Rock feud got worse, with Tyrese congratulating The Rock for making the franchise all about him.
Regardless of the brewing feud, this spin-off is happening, although it remains to be seen when, or if, Dwayne Johnson will publicly respond to Tyrese's messages on social media. Unfortunately, Deadline didn't reveal any story details about this project, but its July 26, 2019 release date puts it up against an untitled Terminator project, along with an untitled Sony Pictures Animation project. As reported back in April, Fast & Furious franchise writer Chris Morgan will be tackling the scripting duties, although it remains to be seen who will direct.