Observation Points is a new, semi-regular discussion of key details in our culture.
The Fast & Furious movies are ridiculousness incarnate—the artistic expression of that weird noise your dishwasher makes when a fork gets caught between the grates. Yet strangely, they just work. The physics-defying stunts, the over-the-top lunacy, the complete disregard for coherence and the tried-and-true emphasis on “family.” It all just somehow clicks together. That’s why it’s such a monumental letdown that the coronavirus forced F9 to abandon its planned May release until April 2021.
The delay gives us roughly 12 months to ponder the future of the franchise and a total of 20 months between series releases when accounting for August’s Hobbs & Shaw. I don’t know about you, but that’s too damn long without any fresh Fast & Furious in my life. So in lieu of the blockbusters we were promised, here is my completely logical plan for the future of the franchise that I definitely have not been thinking about non-stop for the last two years.
F9: What we know vs. what we think should happen
Here is the official plot synopsis for F9 from Universal:
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).
That’s not a whole lot to go on. But we do know that Jakob is working with The Fate of the Furious cyber terrorist villain Cipher (Charlize Theron). Thanks to the trailer, we also know that Han (Sung Kang) is somehow alive after seemingly being killed by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in Tokyo Drift. How? Fuck you, this is Fast & Furious, that’s how!
In Hobbs & Shaw, an unknown villain that uses a computerized voice to communicate leads the terrorist organization Eteon, which specializes in “transhumanism.” This mysterious mastermind enhances Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) through cybernetics, suggesting advanced bioengineering and technological capabilities. That’s not how Han survived—Jakob rescued him and held him hostage to extract information about Dom and his crew, obviously—but it will come into play later.
And finally, it’s a safe bet—at some point—that one or more members of Dom’s team will drive in space, given the conspicuous placement of a rocket-powered car in the F9 trailer. Beating the Mission: Impossible franchise to that particular punch is a badge of honor.
That’s what we know so far about info teased relating to F9. In our version of the Fast franchise, F9 reveals that, unbeknownst to them, Jakob and Cipher have been serving under this anonymous puppet master for years. What’s more, there are clues indicating that this antagonist has ties to the Diplomatic Security Service, where Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs used to work. Boom, now Fast & Furious has its own Thanos-lite Big Bad to contend with, though his identity remains unknown.
2 Hobbs 2 Shaw: The sequel we need right now
Fast & Furious 10 was meant to arrive on April 1, 2021, but with F9 moving into that slot thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown, Universal is going to be forced to delay. In the interim, the studio can pivot to a sequel to the franchise’s first successful spinoff.
This time around, Hobbs & Shaw have been tasked with investigating the destruction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and highest-energy particle collider and the largest machine in the world, currently built beneath the France-Switzerland border near Geneva. (We know the Hobbs & Shaw post-credits scenes teased a deadly virus, but that just feels yucky after COVID-19.) What concerns authorities more than the supercollider’s destruction is what wasn’t found in the rubble: central working components of the machine. This technology is used to explore quantum mechanics, general relativity and the deep structures of space and time. In the wrong hands, it poses a global threat.
Naturally, Eteon is behind it all (and no, Ryan Reynolds’ Locke is not the secret bad guy). To retrieve the stolen materials, Hobbs and Shaw must pull off a daring raid on the organization’s secret compound. But instead of finding missing machine parts, they come across—prepare for our first “Holy shit!” moment—Gisele Yashar (Gal Gadot), the love of Han’s life who was seemingly killed off in Fast & Furious 6. She’s unconscious, hooked up to a host of medical machines, but very much alive.
Brixton wasn’t Eteon’s only cybernetic human test subject, after all. Dun, dun, dunnnn.
Fast & Furious 10: Approaching the last quarter-mile
Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham were not going to appear in F9 thanks to Hobbs & Shaw. Assuming Universal doesn’t use the 11-month delay to add them into the film, Fast & Furious 10 will take on added importance as a reunion of sorts. You can practically hear the box office banknotes rolling in.
Here, our characters are puzzling over Gisele’s survival, reintegrating her back into the crew (she and Han navigate a V-12 engine’s worth of sexual tension, obviously) and still searching for Eteon and their supercollider. All of a sudden, a mortally wounded Cipher—not seen since escaping in F9—turns up at HQ with a warning. “You must stop him,” she says as she slips Dom a flash drive before dying. One of their most hated rivals using her last breath to help them? Shit must be getting real.
The flash drive contains detailed files on what Eteon is planning with their supercollider—a tear in the space-time continuum that enables time travel, because why the hell not at this point?! The plans also reveal the last piece Eteon needs to complete it which sends our heroes on a mission to intercept them.
A massive battle breaks out immediately upon their arrival. Every rule of physics that can be broken on screen is broken. Everything that can be on fire is on fire. Every bicep comparison between main characters that can be made is made. You know, normal Fast & Furious stuff.
When the dust settles, Roman (Tyrese Gibson) is held at gunpoint by—wait for it—Keanu Reeves! Reeves’ character is revealed to be the mastermind behind Eteon and Hobbs’ childhood friend/former partner who was believed to be killed on their first mission together. (Hobbs, of course, still blames himself to this day.) He murders Roman (sorry, Tyrese, but we need some emotional fallout) and escapes, leaving our heroes distraught and defeated.
That brings us to…
The Fastest & The Furiousest: The next quarter-mile revealed
Reeve’s bad guy—intent on ruining Dom, Hobbs and the whole crew before taking over the world—flings himself to the future in order to kill the adult versions of Dom’s son Brian and Hobbs’ daughter Sam, who are totally married and also happen to be badass super spies themselves. Han and Gisele’s kid is their “guy in the chair” tech expert too. What is the Fast & Furious franchise if not a soap opera soaked in diesel fuel?
Adult Brian is played by Shia LaBeouf, adult Sam is played by Keke Palmer, and Han and Gisele’s kid is played by Steven Yeun. LaBeouf will win his first Oscar for the role.
So our crew follows Reeves’ villain into the future where they pair up with the now-grown versions of their own children in an X-Men: Days of Future Past-esque set-up that doubles as the conclusion to the current iteration of the Fast series and a bridge to the new spinoff franchise Universal has been planning this entire time.
MIND = BLOWN.