With Fast 8, which looks to be the actual, final title of the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, quickly approaching, we’ve been seeing quite a lot of marketing and promotional material focused around star Vin Diesel and director F. Gary Gray. What we haven’t heard much about is the franchise’s standout character, namely Hobbs, the gargantuan government agent played by Dwayne Johnson. Few moments in Furious 7 were as exhilarating as watching Hobbs wielding a gatling gun against a military-grade helicopter, and not long after the films release, talk of a Hobbs spinoff began to stir.
We haven’t heard much since then but CB got word from Furious 7 consulting producer Hiram Garcia yesterday about where Hobbs will fit into Fast 8 and where discussions are at for a Hobbs spinoff project. First, here’s what Garcia had to say about Hobbs’ role in the new Fast & Furious film:
“I’ve been in the mix with Chris Morgan, the writer, really dialing in the Hobbs character, which is one of our all-time favorite characters…On the last movie, due to schedule restraints, we were only able to play on it for a couple weeks…In this one, we’re really spread throughout the movie, so it’s great to be back up here and we’ll be back on set on Wednesday.”
That’s great news, as Johnson has a particular knack for making cheesy action nonsense like the Fast & Furious films really sing. The fact that he is the current favorite for Shazam! and Shane Black‘s Doc Savage adaptation makes me inexplicably excited for movies I would barely give a damn about otherwise. But a Hobbs spinoff movie is just as important as these adaptations in my book, and could really expand a franchise that’s been getting ever-so-slightly more interesting with every new chapter. When asked whether he thinks a Hobbs spinoff would work, Garcia responded with a simple “A hundred percent” and went on to say this:
“I think there’s always been conversations for that. The scheduling of it all is a challenge but there are always talks about a potential spinoff movie and what we can do with it. DJ and I were just talking about that the other day – our visions for it. There’s a real goal for that and we can have enough fun with that where we’ve earned that now with the audience. He’s a beloved enough character that they’d love to see what a ride with him would be like in his world. We have tons of history that we’ve crafted for this guy that we continue to sprinkle in throughout the movies. You’ll see a little bit more in this movie but ultimately we want to take that ride and spin him off and have some fun with it.”
This is very encouraging news but it’s nothing quite definitive. Johnson is clearly interested and with a few busy years in front of him as far as major projects go, his clout seems posed to only grow more massive from here. The not-so-great news in all of this is that his busy schedule means he might be a bit too…busy…to make time for a solo Hobbs movie. That being said, if producers and studio heads gave a serious commitment, I imagine Johnson would get similarly serious about finding the time to do this. Here’s hoping!