The Fast & Furious franchise has grown into something quite different from its humble street-racing origins with an expanding ensemble cast and an increase in high-octane, physics-defying stunts. The ninth installment of the main saga has experienced several delays thanks to COVID-19, but F9 is currently slated to hit theaters this May, and franchise star Vin Diesel recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly to tease the future of the franchise as well as what the new film has in store for fans.
One big revelation that emerged from the first trailer for F9 was that Han Lue is apparently alive and well. Sung Kang first played the role in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and was actually killed off in that film, but the character proved to be so popular that they played around with the timeline in order to allow Han to take part in a few more films before it was revealed in Fast & Furious 6 that Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) was the one behind it. Fans have called for Justice for Han for some time, and it seems that F9 will deliver on that front, although it does have some explaining to do in regards just how Han survived. “Han is an integral character in this franchise,” Diesel explained. “If you remember, he’s kind of responsible for the away years of Dom Toretto. He’s the one doing jobs with him in Mexico, he’s the only one who knows where Dom is, and in many ways is the bridge for Dom when Dom comes back in Tokyo Drift. So there’s something very special and magical about the Han character. When you see the movie you’ll feel it, but I believe at the core it’s another testament to, not only don’t turn your back on family, but don’t give up on family. Without giving away the plot, that’s the theme: don’t give up on family.“
Vin Diesel also revealed that F9 will finally allow Helen Mirren to get behind the wheel, which is something she’s wanted ever since she first campaigned for the role. “It’s so awesome,” Diesel said. “She gets to drive and she gets to drive sleek.” In regards to the future of the Fast & Furious franchise, it has previously been revealed that the main saga would come to an end with two final films, which Diesel said has been in the works for a while. “Well, kind of because that’s always what was discussed,” Diesel said. “Even as far back as 2012, 2013, it was something that Pablo [Walker] and I would discuss, finishing on the 10th one. That just always felt right. And being a part of the Marvel franchise, seeing that possibility that when you have that much story you can end with two films. It was something that we’d talked about that became real. It’s just been such a wonderful, wonderful run, and we’d always envisioned that 10 would be the farewell, the finale, and that is what our story is working towards.“
The official synopsis for F9:
Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most. His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena).
F9 will hit theaters on May 28, 2021.