The Fast and the Furious franchise has accelerated far beyond its humble roots. Initially, the series was simply about car theft and street racing. While it used this as a backdrop to give way to broader action, said action has been pushed a gear higher with each new entry.
Now, the series is known for its outrageous stunts and over the top action set-pieces, many of which are comparable to the Mission: Impossible movies. The ante is upped even more so in the franchise's first spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw. This is in spite of it being meant to start a more grounded offshoot.
With the movies going bigger and bigger, where else is the Fast & Furious franchise to go, if not into outer space? The question may not be as ludicrous as you think.
WHEN FAST AND FURIOUS ISN'T ENOUGH
To accommodate its off-the-wall action, the Fast & Furious has added more and more hi-tech elements. No place is this more obvious than the heavily sci-fi, Hobbs & Shaw. Eteon, a sinister terrorist organization, functions as a kind of futuristic Illuminati of this universe. Their hands are in everything and they have been pulling the strings behind the scenes for years, namely in the media.
They also have working for them Idris Elba's character, Brixton. He is outfitted with cybernetics, giving him superhuman abilities, including control over drones. Needless to say, this is a huge step up from illegal street racing. Given the fact that Eteon has biological weapons that could supposedly wipe out mankind, having them also have a weapon in space that could wreak having upon humanity wouldn't be out of the question.
TWO MORE LAPS
Outside of any further spinoffs, there are confirmed to be two more entries in the main Fast & Furious series. The studio has essentially two options: It can return to the smaller scope of the first couple of films, bringing the franchise full circle as it comes to a close. Or, it can go even bigger and more bombastic, going out with a literal bang. This might be a pretty big height to reach, given how outlandish Hobbs & Shaw is. There'd be no easier way to do this, however, than leaving Earth's atmosphere.
The strongest indication of this becoming reality, however, is the fact that the series' main writer has already said he's open to the idea. Perhaps the series will take both paths, going a little smaller for Fast & Furious 9 before exploding into the final frontier in the final film. Though a quieter story might be too much to ask given the presence of John Cena in the ninth instalment's cast.
Increasing the level of mind-boggling action might also be a way to compete with sagas like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If Universal were to go all-in on spin-offs, this could make the last two main films more of an event, similar to Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. If you already have "Black Superman" in your movie, you might as well go to interstellar. Meanwhile, the spinoffs could take a more subdued approach, going back to the street racing and heist tone of the original movies. Grounded in a literal sense.
Directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2) from a script by longtime Fast & Furious narrative architect Chris Morgan, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw stars Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby, in theaters now.