Published on 20 Aug 1919
Guardians of the Galaxy star Michael Rooker is the latest star to join the Fast family, as he has boarded the cast of Fast & Furious 9. Filming is already well underway on the sequel. Cameras got rolling at the end of June, under the direction of Justin Lin, who returns to the franchise after taking a break from the last two installments. Now we have word that Rooker has signed on as something of a last-minute addition to the already impressive ensemble.
According to a new report, Michael Rooker is set to play a new character by the name of Buddy in Fast & Furious 9. There is no word on who exactly Buddy will be aligned with, be it Dom's crew, or if he might be an adversary. In any event, this is another big role for Rooker, who is best known for his role as Yondu in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as his role in the early seasons of AMC's The Walking Dead. Rooker is also signed on to play King Shark in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, and he has a role in Blumhouse's Fantasy Island movie. Plus, the actor is set to star in Amazon's The Dark Tower series. Needless to say, he's a busy man who just added another big franchise to his roster.
The cast also includes franchise mainstays Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson, who are all returning. Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren will also reprise their roles, with John Cena boarding the cast for this new installment. It was also recently revealed that UFC fighter Francis Ngannou will appear in the sequel. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham will sit this one out, as they both recently starred in the spin-off Hobbs & Shaw, which hit theaters recently.
Related: Fast & Furious 9 Begins Shooting, Vin Diesel Shares First Set Video
Plot details for the upcoming installment are virtually non-existent right now. The script was penned by series newcomer Dan Casey, who is working from a story cooked up by Justin Lin. Franchise mainstay Chris Morgan ended up turning his attention toward Hobbs & Shaw, giving Casey the opportunity to bring a potentially fresh take to the main series as it enters its ninth installment. Lin previously directed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast and Furious, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6.
To date, the nine movies that make up the franchise have grossed an impressive $5.57 billion worldwide. The series has been on a major hot streak recently, as Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious both grossed well over $1 billion worldwide, with Hobbs & Shaw well on its way to $500 million globally since its launch earlier this month. That should allow for further spin-offs to be explored down the road, such as the female-led spin-off previously teased by Vin Diesel. Fast & Furious 9 is set to arrive in theaters on May 22, 2020. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.
Published on 17 Aug 1919
EXCLUSIVE: Universal's Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw zoomed into Korea on Wednesday, scoring the biggest opening day for the franchise, and through Thursday surpassed 1M admissions. Korea is the last market to release before China welcomes the spinoff next Friday, August 23. Through Thursday, the international box office cume on H&S is $267.5M with domestic at $119.6M for a global running total of $387.1M. It will top the $400M worldwide threshold this weekend.
Despite competition from two strong local holdovers in Korea, H&S secured the biggest screen count of the F&F series at 1,270 versus The Fate Of The Furious' 1,238. On Wednesday, it grossed $2.4M to top the previous Fast title by 81% and F7's debut by 176%.
Thursday was Korea's National Liberation Day holiday which helped put another $4.1M in the tank. Today, the Dwayne Johnson/Jason Statham-starrer added another $2.1M for a running cume of $8.7M.
As we've noted all along, H&S has not been expected to outperform its Toretto family-fronted cousins. However, at this rate, Korea is the only major market that is besting the previous F&F movies. When all is said and done, Korea could end up among the Top 5 markets for H&S, which would be a first for the series.
The film debuted with $119M overseas two weeks ago, then put another $60.3M in the tank during its second frame at the international box office last weekend. Still to come on the David Leitch-helmed action/banter bonanza is China. Although H&S is not expected to reach the s of the previous F&F films in the Middle Kingdom, the franchise is a massive draw, and Johnson and Statham also excel there. It’s China, so we’ll see…
Through Thursday and not including the early Friday numbers from Korea above the Top 5 offshore markets are Japan $19.5M, UK $17.9M, Russia $15.7M, Mexico $14.5M and Indonesia $11.6M.
More international box office updates will come through the weekend with a full report on Sunday.
Published on 16 Aug 1919
The Fast franchise has added another heavy-hitter to the family. UFC fighter, Francis Ngannou is set to join the cast of Universal's Fast & Furious 9. The details of the role are being kept quiet, but at 6'4'' and 258lbs, Ngannou will fit right in.
Also known as "The Predator," Ngannou currently holds the #2 spot in the heavyweight division. He also holds the the most UFC finishes in the division. This includes a recent 71 second knockout against Junior dos Santos and a 26-second knockout against the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez. Born and raised in the village of Batié, Cameroon, Ngannou had a long road to the film business and will be making his big-screen debut in Fast & Furious 9.
The Cameroonian-French professional mixed martial artist will be joining a cast of newcomers and original criminals-with-a-code family. Vin Diesel will of course be returning to his role as Dom Toretto. As will Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, Jordana Brewster as Mia, Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey, Ludacris as Tej Parker, and Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce. The Fate of the Furious' Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren will make their return as well. WWE wrestler John Cena Blockers and Anna Sawai Ninja Assassin have joined the ensemble cast.
Related: John Cena Is Officially Confirmed for Fast and Furious 9
Details of the plot are being kept quiet so far, but with Justin Lin returning as director, we can expect much of the same. Lin made his debut to the franchise in the loosely connected third installment, Tokyo Drift, but stayed in the director's chair for films 4, 5 and 6 as well. In comparison, Lin's films tend to be a bit more contained than some others in the series. As contained as a movie with high-speed freeway chases that defy physics and a car vs plane battle can be. Maybe Fast 9 will be a little more Fast Five and a little less Fast 8? The screenplay comes from Dan Casey, based on a story by Lin and Alfredo Botello.
Production on the film has been difficult so far. Stuntman Joe Watts suffered a major injury when he fell from an elevated set at Leavesden Studios in London. The experienced stunt performer has been released from the ICU since, but reportedly still has a long road to recovery. Some of the on-set drama has been self-inflicted by the cast themselves. The original cast seem to take the theme of family very seriously. So, when Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson agreed to a spinoff film after weeks of reported difficulties with co-star Vin Diesel, some cast members had some harsh opinions.
Tyrese Gibson has been outspoken since the Hobbs & Shaw announcement was made, and he has not let up, accusing Johnson of "breaking up the family" by starring in the film. Ironically, Tyrese was cast in the second film to fill a void left by Diesel's scheduling conflicts. Hobbs & Shaw went on to earn $334 million globally by its second week, before its release in China on August 23. China tends to be one of the biggest markets for the high-speed, high-action films.
With his history in UFC, Ngannou should fit right into the action and drama of Fast and Furious. The film is slated for a May 22 release. This news comes to us from Deadline.
Published on 12 Aug 1919
Refresh for latest…: Universal's Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw put another $60.8M in the tank during its second frame at the international box office. The Dwayne Johnson/Jason Statham-starrer pumped up its overseas cume to $224.1M in 66 markets through Sunday, and global to $332.6M. The drop in markets that opened last weekend was a solid 43%.
Overall, H&S is tracking in line with Fast & Furious 6 and about 40% off of Furious 7 and The Fate Of The Furious. By way of comparison, hough it was coming off a record opening during Easter 2017, the latter film dipped by 60% in its second offshore frame.
H&S added five new markets this session, which are tracking about 30% ahead of Mission: Impossible &ndash Fallout combined. Despite a big holiday travel weekend, France was the best opener at $6.9M for No. 1. The UK is currently the lead H&S hub at $15.6M with a good 40% drop from the debut.
Still to come on the David Leitch-helmed Hobbs & Shaw are Korea on August 14 and China on August 23. In the latter, juggernaut animated title Ne Zha did an estimated $68M this session to score the No. 1 slot at the international box office for the weekend. The local estimated gross is $512M with Maoyan predicting a $671M finish. If that holds, Ne Zha would overtake Avengers: Endgame to become the No. 2 movie of the year in the Middle Kingdom.
The Lion King, meanwhile, has now surpassed Beauty And The Beast as the highest-grossing Disney live-action release of all time with $1.335B globally. It is the No. 12 film ever on the overall worldwide chart and the No. 2 release of 2019 domestically $473.1M, internationally $861.5M and globally.
The studio's Toy Story 4 is nearing the $1B global threshold with a cume through Sunday of $990M. It opens in Germany this week and also has Scandinavia to come. TS4 has become the No. 8 animated movie ever worldwide.
Sony A handful of new titles made staggered debuts overseas, including Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood which scored a $7.7M No. 1 opening in Russia. The Sony/Bona title is Tarantino's biggest launch of all time in the market, tripling Django Unchained. Rollout continues through the next several weeks.
CBS Films' Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark began spinning its tale in 30 overseas markets including a mix of South East Asia, Latin America and Europe, for $4M. Taiwan led play with $600K. Next weekend adds another 12 hubs including Mexico.
Paramount's Dora And The Lost City Of Gold traveled to its first 11 markets for a $2.5M start that was led by Russia's $878K. Rollout will continue through October.
Also new, Disney/Fox's The Art Of Racing In The Rain padded into 12 markets for $1.1M, led by Brazil at $300K. This one also rolls out throughout the next few months.
Breakdowns on the films above and more are being updated below.
NEWONCE UPON A TIME&hellip IN HOLLYWOOD Sony Sony/Bona's Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood crossed the $100M mark domestically this weekend as offshore rollout begins. Russia is the first overseas major to debut and did so in a big way with a $7.7M No. 1 start. This is the best opening of all time for director Quentin Tarantino, doing three times Django Unchained as well as 22% above Sony's Spectre and 154% over Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Hollywood world premiered to great acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival in May and the rest of France gets its first look at the movie beginning this Wednesday. Coverage on the film is wide here where Tarantino excels. Also on deck this week are the UK, Australia, Brazil, Germany and Spain. Later in the month will see Mexico and Japan, followed by Italy and Korea in September. It is expected that OUATIH will get a China date, hough this has not yet been confirmed.
Published on 08 Aug 1919
Joe Watts, who suffered a serious head injury in a fall during the production of Universal’s Fast & Furious 9 at Leavesden studios in London last month, is out of the intensive care unit and “doctors are pleased with his progress,” according to a statement Thursday.
“While Joe remains in hospital and there is still a long road ahead, he has been moved out of the ICU and doctors are pleased with his progress,” read a statement from Watts, his fiancée Tilly Powell and their families. “We'd especially like to send an enormous thank you to the air ambulance crew, all the fantastic doctors, nurses and staff at the Royal London Hospital who have provided amazing care to Joe.“
Watts, whose stunt credits include Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Game of Thrones and The Hitman's Bodyguard and its upcoming sequel, was working with the film's second unit when he fell off an elevated set about 20 feet off the ground, according to sources close to the production. He was airlifted to Royal London Hospital and placed in an induced coma. Production was hed for the day after the incident.
“We would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes since Joe's accident whilst filming Fast & Furious 9,” today’s statement began.”We have been overwhelmed by the incredible support from friends, family and the stunt community, as well as the Fast & Furious 9 cast, crew and Universal Pictures.”
The studio also released a statement.
“Universal Pictures and the filmmakers, talent and crew of Fast & Furious 9, are heartened that Joe is on the road to recovery with the support of his loved ones. Joe is a professional in every sense of the word and his commitment to his craft is inspiring to all of us. We know he'll continue to inspire us throughout his recovery. Everyone in the Fast family sends our heartfelt wishes and we will continue to support Joe and his family however we can.“
Fast & Furious 9 is the latest installment in the Universal franchise, Justin Lin has returned to direct the sequel, which also returns Vin Diesel along with The Fate of the Furious&lsquo Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren, as well as franchise newcomer John Cena.
The pic is set to be released on May 22, 2020.