Universal looks to be moving forward with their planned Fast and the Furious spin-off starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. The studio has officially announced a 2019 release date, just a day after revealing the main franchise's next installment has been delayed a year.
RELATED: Fast & Furious 9 Bumped Back to 2020
Following the news that Fast and the Furious 9 has been bumped to 2020, Universal has slotted the much-talked about spin-off into a July 26, 2019 release date. Although the project has been in development for some time (the Rock even commented on it once the news initially broke earlier this year), according to The Hollywood Reporter deals have yet to be made with the actors.
The still-untitled spin-off is being developed from a script by franchise writer Chris Morgan, who has been involved with the series since the beginning. Morgan wrote the first installment, which proved to be a breakout hit, pulling in $363 million at the worldwide box office.
In a statement released to THR, Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley talked about the franchise and the opportunity to further explore it with the Johnson-Statham spin-off:
“Fast & Furious is one of Universal’s most beloved properties, and we handle every decision we make surrounding this franchise with great care. The global brand of Fast & Furious is strong and full of iconic characters, and we look forward to continuing to build on the film that started it all, as well as expanding into different narratives beginning with our first spin-off.”
While Universal is said to have bumped Fast and Furious 9 to get a jump on the spin-off, it's also been revealed that part of the reason the studio opted to shuffle projects was to hopefully bring back director Justin Lin to direct the ninth installment. While a deal hasn't been made with the director, he appears to be the studio's top choice so far to helm what is said to be the franchise's "core entry."
The eighth installment of the franchise, The Fate of the Furious, raked in over $1.2 billion dollars at the worldwide box office earlier this year. That film saw Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto turn rogue and lash out against his family and fellow crew members, who in turn had to hunt down the former street racer and uncover the reason for his surprising treachery.