Yesterday, we reported that Fast & Furious 9 had been delayed a year and had been pushed back to April 10, 2020. There’s no word on why Universal decided to push the movie back, and the project currently doesn’t have a director or even a cast firmed up at this point. If anything, it looked like there could be more movement on a spinoff featuring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, whose characters became BFFs in The Fate of the Furious.
While movies get delayed all the time, rarely does that announcement come with one of the stars of the franchise lashing out at a co-star. But Tyrese Gibson, who has played Roman in five Fast & Furious movies took to Instagram to vent his frustration with Johnson, blaming him and producing partner Hiram Garcia:
#PSA Congratulations to @TheRock and your brother in law aka 7 bucks producing partner @hhgarcia41 for making the fast and the furious franchise about YOU – And like you, DJ even if they call I will not be deleting this post – Gn folks see you in 2020 April #FastFamily right? Nah….. it’s about #TeamDewayne #3yrs will it be worth the wait? #NoShaw just Hobbs will this be another #BayWatch? Guys guys just relax I’m just a passionate film critic
This new drama comes on the heels of the feud between Johnson and Vin Diesel, a feud you can pretty much see played out on screen in The Fate of the Furious as the two actors never share the same frame. During production, Johnson went on Instagram to attack unnamed male co-stars for being “candy asses” and being unprofessional. It was later revealed that Diesel had earned Johnson’s ire, and now it looks like the Hobbs/Shaw spinoff is a way for Universal to turn the situation to their advantage. They get to stay in the Dwayne Johnson business and bring back a popular character while avoiding more behind-the-scenes drama between Johnson and Diesel.
And although I can sympathize with Gibson’s frustration at Fast 9 being delayed, hopefully he realizes that Johnson isn’t the cause of his pain but probably the guy who saved the series. A series without Johnson looks a lot like Fast & Furious, a forgettable entry that doesn’t significantly change the overall dynamic. Once Hobbs entered the picture and Johnson brought his energy to the story, the franchise followed in his larger-than-life footsteps. At the level of Diesel and Gibson, you have a story about boosting cars. At the level of Dwayne Johnson, you have a story about saving the world.