Fans of The Fast and the Furious franchise—and of Jason Statham and Dwayne
“The Rock” Johnson’s palpable on-screen chemistry—were perhaps disappointed that the two never wound up kissing in the latest film, The Fate of the Furious. If you haven’t yet, I defy you to watch the above scene and tell me these two people don’t want to take this spat straight to the soft, fertile grounds of the Bone Zone. I’ll wait.

Hmm yes that is what I thought.

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Obviously Universal isn’t about to let such magnetism just linger there unmonetized. Reports indicate that the company is in early talks with writer Chris Morgan about the possibility of a spin-off starring just the two of them, without Vin Diesel and his endless twaddling about family and barbecues getting in the way. According to Deadline:

The idea is for Johnson’s U.S. Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs to form an unlikely alliance with Statham’s Decker Shaw for a movie that conceivably could be made while they are figuring the next Fast film.

Evidently the two worked so well together that Universal shot a bunch of extra footage, which may wind up as DVD bonus material. That’s one version of the story, anyway.

Another, according to The Wrap, is that Vin Diesel actually quashed plans for a final scene featuring Statham and Johnson, relegating it instead to bonus footage once he found out it’d been added without his consent:

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The scene — described as a short “tag” to the story — featured The Rock’s character, Luke Hobbs, and Statham‘s character, Deckard, who develop a rapport over the course of the film.

“They had early screenings where Johnson and Statham popped so much on-screen together that they were looking at doing a spinoff,” one insider said.

The tag would have kept their banter going — but Diesel intervened, according to people close to the production.

Even if the spin-off does come to pass, it won’t mean that the primary FF franchise will be laid to rest anytime soon. Despite my personal opinion that the films should have respectfully wrapped after the death of Paul Walker, it seems The Fate of the Furious is in fact not only the eighth movie in the series, but the beginning of a new trilogy, Diesel has said. Indeed, F9 is scheduled for release on April 19, 2019, and F10 will follow on April 2, 2021.

If this “trilogy” business is confusing to you, just remember that this logic is borne of the same great minds who gave us the billion mile runway and employed amnesia as a major plot point. A pervasive sense of “what the fuck?” is a large part of the franchise’s charm—one which we will apparently continue to enjoy for many decades to come.