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All the Fast & Furious 9 rumors and spoilers leaked so far

While Fast and the Furious fans returned to a corner of the Furious world in this year's spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, the ninth installment of the main franchise won't race into theaters until May 22, 2020. The last time we saw Dominic Toretto and his found family of fast-driving thieves-turned-world-saving-heroes was in 2017's The Fate of the Furious, which saw the crew facing off against Charlize Theron's stone cold cyberterrorist Cipher in order to prevent a potentially devastating nuclear attack.

The series has come a long way from its origins, and the conflicts of the first film — street racing and stealing DVD players — now seem positively puny in comparison to the cataclysmic stakes of the more recent entries. After the nuclear threat of Fate and the introduction of literal superpowers in Hobbs & Shaw, the sky's the limit for what the next Fast and the Furious movie can throw at Dom's group of unconventional heroes.

Information on the ninth Fast and the Furious film is still being mostly kept under wraps, but the cast and production team have been kind enough to let at least a few details slip. While we wait to reunite with Dom, Letty, and all the rest, we're passing the time by rounding up all the spoilers and rumors we can get our hands on. Salud, mi familia.

Bad news for Hobbs and Shaw fans

After spinning its wheels for four commercially successful but critically uneven films, the Fast and the Furious franchise really took off in 2011's Fast Five, a slick, exuberant heist action flick that bore little resemblance to the smaller stakes street racing movies that had come before it. One of its biggest upgrades came in the form of Luke Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), a Diplomatic Security Service agent that served as the film's intimidating antagonist. Hobbs would go on to follow in the footsteps of Paul Walker's former FBI agent Brian O'Conner, turning away from his career in law enforcement to plunge into a life of big-hearted crime.

Jason Statham's rogue assassin Deckard Shaw also joined the Fast and the Furious series as an antagonist, revealed at the end of Fast & Furious 6 as the one who killed Han back in 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. While many fans still haven't forgiven Shaw for killing Han, he too wound up joining forces with Dom's crew, and was responsible for saving Dom's infant son from Cipher in The Fate of the Furious.

But while Hobbs and Shaw proved to be popular enough characters to receive their own spinoff film, don't expect to see them in the yet-untitled Fast 9. In an interview with MTV News, Johnson confirmed that he and Statham will not be appearing in the ninth film, although he left the door open for an appearance in the already confirmed 10th installment.

John Cena is joining the team

The absence of Luke Hobbs leaves some mighty large shoes to fill, and who better to step into them than that other wrestler-turned-actor, John Cena? While no character description has yet been released, Universal has confirmed that Cena is indeed joining the Fast and the Furious family, and his character is — to absolutely no one's surprise — "a badass."

Beyond that, who Cena will be playing is anyone's guess, although it would be well within the tradition of the franchise for him to make his entrance as a villain. Not only did Johnson and Statham make the leap from antagonists to heroes (as did Luke Evans' Fast & Furious 6 villain Owen Shaw, albeit to a lesser extent), but Charlize Theron's baddie Cipher may also be getting her own spin-off, hinting that she too may wind up switching sides. At this point, it would almost seem weird for a Fast and the Furious movie to bring on new big name and have them not play a villain.

A new writer will be penning the script for the first time in 12 years

Chris Morgan has been writing the Fast and the Furious scripts since Tokyo Drift, but once Morgan stepped away to pen Hobbs & Shaw, the door was open for a fresh new voice to enter the franchise. Fast 9 has tapped Kin scribe Daniel Casey to take over writing duties for the ninth installment.

In addition to Kin, Casey grabbed the studio's attention with his script for The Heavy, a subversive superhero movie that is currently in the works from producer J.J. Abrams. It's fitting that Universal would tap a superhero writer for the next Fast and the Furious movie, considering the larger-than-life direction the franchise has drifted in during its latest installments. The stunts have been growing increasingly more out-of-this-world for years — in The Fate of the Furious, Hobbs hurls a torpedo at a car with his bare hands — and Hobbs & Shaw brought us Idris Elba's "Black Superman," Brixton. Perhaps Casey's hiring hints that superpowers won't be limited to spinoffs, and that the already-loose physics of the Fast and the Furious series will get shrugged off entirely.

Letty is back... on one condition

While most of Dominic Toretto's crew joined the franchise somewhere between the second and fifth films, Michelle Rodriguez has been there from the very beginning, playing Dom's girlfriend (and eventual wife), Letty Ortiz. However, while Letty and Dom were closer than ever at the end of The Fate of the Furious, Rodriguez herself was a different story. In an Instagram post in 2017, Rodriguez wrote, "I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise."

Faced with a Letty-less future — or perhaps simply because the studio agreed with Rodriguez and wanted to do right by its female fans — Universal agreed to her stipulation that she would only return if they hired a female writer for the ninth movie. Although we still don't know who the woman is who will be helping Daniel Casey pen the script for Fast 9, we hope that Rodriguez gets her wish and that the script does indeed show the amazing women of the franchise some love.  

Jordana Brewster is reprising her role as Mia

During the filming of Furious 7, Paul Walker, who had been playing Dom's best friend and brother-in-law Brian O'Conner since the first movie, was tragically killed in a car crash. Instead of writing a similarly sad fate for Brian, the film worked some special effects magic, using Walker's brothers to help complete his scenes. The ending of the film was rewritten to bring closure to Brian's story, with him riding off into the sunset in a white car as Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" played over the scene.

However, Vin Diesel announced during a Facebook Live video in 2017 that Jordana Brewster will be reprising her role as Mia, Dom's sister and Brian's wife, for Fast 9. Given how important it was to the entire cast and crew of Furious 7 that Brian receive a happy ending, it'll be interesting to see how the series chooses to bring back Mia without killing Brian off-screen or splitting them up. Perhaps Brewster's return will be brief, with Dom stopping by Brian and Mia's house only to learn that he's just missed Brian. But if we're lucky, Brewster's role will be a lot bigger than that, and Brian's absence will be explained by him staying home with the kids while Mia goes off with her brother to help save the world.

Whoa! The villain could be… Keanu Reeves?

Although all of the promotional materials for Hobbs & Shaw focused on Idris Elba's new character Brixton as the villain of the Furious spinoff, rumors persisted about another mysterious baddie lurking in the wings: Keanu Reeves. Many speculated that Reeves would appear toward the end or during the closing credits as a behind-the-scenes puppetmaster, setting him up to be an even bigger bad guy in a future film — Fast 9, for instance

However, even before the release of Hobbs & Shaw, Dwayne Johnson went on the record about these rumors. "I love Keanu," Johnson said. "We talked about it, we talked, 'Hey dude, just somewhere down the line, let's do something for sure.' But as of now, in Hobbs & Shaw, not Keanu." Of course, Johnson was telling the truth, and there was no sign of Keanu in the spin-off. Still, that doesn't necessarily mean that the rumors tying Reeves to a Furious movie are false. We may just have to wait a little bit longer to see him, is all.  

Hobbs & Shaw teased a villainous mastermind

Although Idris Elba's super-soldier Brixton was the on-screen antagonist of Hobbs & Shaw, it turned out he wasn't the architect of the destructive master plan he was attempting to execute. Multiple times throughout the film, Brixton received orders from a mysterious digitized voice, whom we see only in the form of bright orange soundwaves displayed on screens, and who hints at a personal history with Hobbs. This enigmatic voice commanded more than just Brixton, giving orders to a host of technicians and technologically enhanced super-henchmen, leading to the impression that the owner of the voice was the real mastermind behind Brixton's operation.

While Hobbs & Shaw will likely be spawning its own sequels, a follow-up is not yet confirmed, so if the franchise wants to answer the glaring question it set up in Hobbs & Shaw, Fast 9 is a likely place for it to happen. There are a number of candidates for who the voice could be, but the odds are it will be revealed to be Cipher, Charlize Theron's cyberterrorist who is still at large in the Fast world. Theron is already confirmed as part of the Fast 9 cast, and was revealed in Fate of the Furious to have been behind several of the villainous plots from earlier Fast films, making her a top contender for the authoritative voice. But even if it's not Cipher, chances are still good that the mystery set up in Hobbs & Shaw will bleed over into the primary franchise. 

Cars in space?

There are very few places Dom Toretto and his crew haven't driven yet. Over the course of the eight Fast and the Furious movies, we've seen cars driven out of planes, onto boats, from one skyscraper to the next, and across thick sheets of ice. However, according to The Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray, there might be one location left that could top them all: outer space.

"Outer space?" Gray said during an interview with Screen Rant, "Listen, I wouldn't rule [out] anything with this franchise."

While that's hardly confirmation that Dom should start getting fitted for a space suit, if there's any film franchise that could figure out a way to make space cars seem plausible, it's this one. Each film has been bigger than the last, featuring increasingly more jaw-dropping car stunts. Space isn't entirely out of the question. Dom may just need a little bit of an assist from Elon Musk.

Driving on the other side of the road

While the original The Fast and the Furious was filmed entirely in and around Los Angeles, the series has since shot all over the world, including locations in Japan, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Spain, the U.K., Cuba, and Iceland. In Fast 9, the series will be returning to the U.K., with production confirmed to be underway at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in London. Other shooting locations include Los Angeles and Hawaii.

It's important to keep in mind that a shooting location doesn't necessarily guarantee that part of the film will be set in the same place. For example, in Fast & Furious 6, London stood in for Moscow, and in The Fate of the Furious, many of the "New York" scenes were actually filmed in Cleveland. Still, most of the time when the Furious films travel abroad, it's because at least part of the movie is set in the country they're filming in. So it's a safe bet that Dom and his crew will be hopping across the pond for some of Fast 9, in addition to spending some time in the more tropical location of Hawaii.

Curiously, Hawaii and London were also shooting locations for Hobbs & Shaw, making us wonder if — even without Hobbs and Shaw themselves — the spinoff may tie into the plot of Fast 9 more than we think.

Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

In addition to the confirmed shooting locations for Fast 9, Vin Diesel has been vocal about yet another place he'd like to visit as Dominic Toretto. "We haven't been to Africa," he told TODAY in 2018, "and we are long overdue."

Africa, of course, is a big continent, with a wide variety of terrain for Dom's crew to cover in their signature fleet of customized cars. Maybe we'll see them racing through the streets of Cairo, or bumping down a dirt road in Namibia, or kicking up sand along a beach in South Africa.

Granted, production for the ninth Fast and the Furious film hasn't yet confirmed any African filming locations, but it's always possible that another location could stand in for whichever country the crew goes to, or that more locations could get added to the shooting schedule. In any case, Diesel is right that the Furious gang is long overdue to bless the rains down in Africa, and it's time they remedied that.

Could Ruby Rose be joining the Fast & Furious family?

When it comes to gender representation, the Fast and the Furious family has never been particularly well balanced. Fortunately, it seems as though Fast 9 may be taking some steps to correct that, with both Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster already set to reprise their roles as Letty and Mia, respectively, and an as-yet unannounced female writer joining the creative team.

In addition to these three established women of the Fast and the Furious world, Ludacris — who has played Tej Parker in the series since 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003 — took to his Instagram in early 2019 to tease an intriguing possible addition to the cast. Posting a photo of himself, Vin Diesel, and the actress Ruby Rose, he added the mysteriously vague caption, "MasterMinding."

While this doesn't necessarily mean that Rose is joining the Furious family — Ludacris' return for Fast 9 has also not been confirmed yet, although it seems extremely likely — it's worth noting that not only is Diesel one of the masterminds of the franchise (both onscreen as Dom and behind the scenes as producer), but Tej could be considered a mastermind in his own right, functioning as the group's resident computer hacker and genius mechanic. With her recent action credits in John Wick Chapter 2, as the titular character in the CW's Batwoman, and alongside Diesel in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Rose seems more than equipped to join this team of masterminds.

Justin Lin is back in the director's chair for 9 and 10

In the same Facebook Live video in which Vin Diesel announced Jordana Brewster's return to the Fast and the Furious family, he also delightedly revealed that director Justin Lin, whom Diesel referred to as the "forefather of Fast," would be helming both the ninth and tenth movies in the series. Lin joined the Fast and the Furious series in 2006, taking the reins on The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and staying with the films through 2013's Fast & Furious 6. Other directors took over after that, with James Wan coming aboard for Furious 7 and F. Gary Gray stepping in for The Fate of the Furious, but now Lin is back for what are expected to be the final two installments in the saga.

Diesel said prior to the release of The Fate of the Furious that the reason he decided to continue the franchise following Paul Walker's death while filming the seventh movie was because Walker "promised eight." He went on to explain that The Fate of the Furious would kick off a new trilogy which would "redefine" the series and "defy expectations." And now that Furious veteran Lin is returning to shepherd the series through its "final chapters," Diesel promises that the end of the journey will be "magic."

Ramsey is back! Possibly along with a couple friends

Nathalie Emmanuel put an end to the speculation that her character, master hacker Ramsey, might not be returning for Fast 9 with a tweet on June 24, 2019. 

Ramsey first joined the Fast and the Furious crew in Furious 7, after she was kidnapped for inventing a hacking device called the God's Eye and was subsequently rescued by Dominic Toretto. The next time we saw her in Fate of the Furious, she was an indispensable member of the team, and now that we know she's returning for Fast 9, we can only hope that Ramsey will be a member of the Fast family all the way until the end of the road.

Adding additional excitement to the news that Emmanuel will indeed be reprising her role in Fast 9 are the emojis she chose at the end of her tweet. While they're obviously open for interpretation, they sure do look a lot like (from left to right) Dom, Letty, Roman, Mia, Tej, and Ramsey. Like Emmanuel, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris, who play Roman and Tej, respectively, had long been assumed to be returning for Fast 9, but hadn't been officially confirmed at the time, making this an emoji-exclusive scoop.

Roman and Tej are officially on the Fast 9 crew

While all signs pointed to Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris reprising their respective roles as Roman and Tej, no official announcement was ever made about their involvement in Fast 9, leading to some nervousness that they might not return. Gibson had previously threatened to leave the franchise back in 2017 if Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson reprised his role as Luke Hobbs in Fast 9, but later partially walked back his comments, saying that he should have kept his feelings about Johnson to himself. However, Gibson still got his wish, with Johnson's work on Hobbs & Shaw preventing him from returning him for Fast 9.

Now, the first cast photo released from the set confirms that Gibson and Ludacris are indeed still part of the family for Fast 9. Taken to celebrate co-star Michelle Rodriguez's birthday, the photo shows several members of the cast, including Gibson and Ludacris, gathered around Rodriguez, who is holding a delicious-looking birthday cake. The photo was tweeted by the official Fast & Furious Twitter account, with the caption, " Happy Birthday @MRodOfficial. #FastFurious." And while the photo may have been taken for Rodriguez's birthday, it feels like a present for fans who'd been waiting with bated breath to find out the status of two of our favorite characters. 

We'll be seeing some fresh Fast & Furious faces

Unsurprisingly, the Fast family continues to grow. It was announced in July of 2019 that three new characters will be joining the cast, with the additions of Finn Cole, Anna Sawai, and Vinnie Bennett. Cole will be recognizable to fans of TNT's Animal Kingdom or Netflix's Peaky Blinders, while Sawai was featured in the 2009 film Ninja Assassin, and more recently had a recurring role in the British TV series Giri/Haji. Bennett has had roles in Ghost in the Shell and Human Traces, as well as a role on the New Zealand crime series The Bad Seed

No details have yet been released about any of their characters, so feel free to speculate about whether they'll be playing good guys, bad guys, or something in between. However, with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham sitting this one out, and with Michelle Rodriguez voicing her desire for that this installment to "show some love to the women of the franchise," we're crossing our fingers that Sawai, at least, may be joining Dom's crew. If she does, that could potentially result in the first crew in Fast history in which the women have outnumbered the men.

Two Fate of the Furious characters are back for Fast 9

Vin Diesel announced on Instagram in July of 2019 that Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren will be reprising their Fate of the Furious roles for Fast 9. Theron plays cyberterrorist Cipher, who forced Dom to turn on his team (including his new wife, Letty) and work for her in Fate by threatening to kill his infant son. Dom eventually managed to gain the upper hand, but not before Cipher ordered the execution of his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, Elena (Elsa Pataky). While the Fast franchise has a history of turning villains into heroes, it's hard to see a scenario in which the woman responsible for Elena's murder is invited to join Dom's crew, so it will be interesting to see how Cipher plays into the narrative of Fast 9

Mirren, meanwhile, was introduced in Fate as Magdalene Shaw, mother of previously villainous brothers Deckard (Jason Statham) and Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), and their sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), who was introduced in Hobbs & Shaw. While the Shaw brothers were each responsible, either directly or indirectly, for multiple Fast family deaths — in addition to Deckard killing Han in Fast & Furious 6, Owen's actions in the same film led to the death of Gisele (Gal Gadot) — the Shaw family, led by Magdalene, was instrumental in helping Dom defeat Cipher in The Fate of the Furious. Mirren also reprised her role in Hobbs & Shaw, but whose side she'll be on in Fast 9 is anyone's guess.