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What If The Rock Had Never Exited Fast & Furious

The Rock exited the main Fast and Furious movies after The Fate of the Furious, and the franchise would have been very different had Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs returned for F9. One of the main reasons why Fast and Furious became a box office juggernaut, The Rock joined the franchise in 2011 for Fast Five. Dwayne Johnson’s journey into becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest action stars owes a lot to Fast and Furious, just like Fast and Furious enormous success in the 2010s owes a lot to The Rock. That mutual collaboration came to an end in 2017, and while both the actor and the franchise moved forward, Hobb’s absence in F9 didn’t go unnoticed.

The Rock’s exit from Fast and Furious traces back to the feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. The stars reportedly did not get along on set, to the point Diesel and Johnson did not shoot a single scene together in The Fate of the Furious despite Hobbs and Dom sharing many scenes throughout the movie. After at least two years of a public feud between Vin Diesel and The Rock and the announcement of a Hobbs spinoff, it was no surprise that Hobbs didn’t return for F9. From Hobbs & Shaw not happening to Dom not having a brother, here’s how The Rock never exiting Fast and Furious would have changed the franchise.

Related: Fast & Furious 10 Continues To Fuel Your Time Travel Theories

Hobbs & Shaw Doesn’t Happen
Shaw and Hobbs in the rain in Hobbs & Shaw

The release of The Fate of the Furious was not the end of the behind-the-scenes drama, as The Rock would later announce that a Fast and Furious spinoff movie featuring Hobbs and Shaw was happening. Hobbs and Shaw had already been given a lot of focus in The Fate of the Furious, with the unlikely duo receiving their own mini-arc throughout the film. Both former villains who were now part of Dominic Toretto’s family, Hobbs and Shaw did seem like they could sustain a spinoff – especially after the prison break fight. Still, had The Rock never parted ways with Vin Diesel and the main Fast and Furious franchise, a spinoff would not have happened – at least not immediately after The Fate of the Furious.

John Cena Doesn’t Join Fast & Furious
The Rock Fast and furious return to chase down Jakob Toretto

While Fast and Furious often brings big casting additions for new installments, the arrival of John Cena right after The Rock exited the series was no coincidence. There are not many actors who can easily replace The Rock’s role in a franchise, and the idea that Fast and Furious could look for John Cena after Dwayne Johnson’s exit had been speculated by many people before it even happened. John Cena’s journey into an action star mirrored that of The Rock, and Cena’s career by the time of F9 resembled Dwayne Johnson’s own career at the time of Fast Five. Whether the saga was focusing too much on Hobbs depends on what audiences expect from a Fast and Furious film, but it cannot be denied that the franchise needed action stars like The Rock and John Cena.

Dom Toretto’s Past Isn’t Retconned
Vin diesel John cena Jakob Dominic toretto

If John Cena never joins Fast and Furious to replace The Rock, then Jakob Toretto is never created. Therefore, Dominic Toretto’s backstory is never retconned. There was nothing in the first eight Fast and Furious films to even suggest that Dom and Mia could have a brother, which is a significant thing for a story so focused on Toretto’s family. Dom had told his entire life story to Brian in The Fast and the Furious but never mentioned a lost brother. It’s clear that F9’s Dominic Toretto retcon was to weave Jakob Toretto into the story, and while it made for a quicker introduction of John Cena’s character, it completely changed Dom and Mia’s story from past Fast and Furious films.

F9 Doesn’t Focus That Much On Toretto
Vin Diesel as Dom working on a car in F9

Having The Rock playing an antagonist who later becomes part of Dominic Toretto’s family helped the Fast and Furious movies not rely too much on Dom. Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto had been the face of the franchise along with Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner since the very first movie. After Walker’s tragic passing, it was up to Diesel to carry on the saga the two had started in 2001. Still, after several movies focused on Dom and his family, Fast and Furious was becoming repetitive. Once a flawed ant-hero, Toretto became a predictable character who always succeeded in the end. F9 mistakenly made Toretto the only focus of the story, a problem that would not have happened if Hobbs was in the movie.

Related: Fast Five Had A Dom & Hobbs Scene That Changed Fast & Furious Forever

Jason Statham’s Shaw Returns For F9 (& Improves Han’s Reveal)
Deckard Shaw and Han Lue from Fast and Furious

The Rock’s exit from Fast and Furious and the release of Hobbs & Shaw also led to Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw not being in F9. It is still unclear whether Jason Statham’s Shaw will return in Fast X or Fast & Furious 11, but Shaw’s absence from F9 was missed. After The Fate of the Furious surprised audiences by having Dominic Toretto and his family become friends of Shaw despite the former villain killing Han in Furious 7, campaigns for Fast and Furious to give “Justice For Han” began. F9 eventually retconned The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Furious 7 to reveal that Han was alive all this time, yet it was not clear how exactly Mr. Nobody and Han pulled off that fake-out.

Shaw was not part of Mr. Nobody and Han’s fake-out, at least not according to what was explained in F9. Mr. Nobody simply knew that Shaw was going to attack Han on that specific day and place. While that is a good enough explanation for a saga that had already brought Letty back from the dead in Fast Five, Shaw being in F9 would have improved the Han reveal. Audiences still do not know what exactly Han thinks of Shaw or what the crew felt about working with the man who had seemingly killed their friend – two storylines that would for sure have been part of F9 had Jason Statham returned for the movie.

Hobbs Doesn’t Miss Fast X & Fast 11
Vin diesel the rock Hobbs return for Fast and furious 10

The Rock is not returning for Fast X, and at this point, it is very unlikely that Hobbs will be in Fast & Furious 11. Still, despite all the behind-the-scenes drama, concluding the Fast and Furious franchise without Hobbs as part of it is disappointing. The Rock starred in four of the nine main Fast and Furious movies, and Hobbs has been a part of the highest-grossing Fast and Furious movies, The Fate of the Furious and Furious 7, both of which crossed the billion-dollar mark at the box office. Hobbs joined the Fast and Furious franchise more than ten years ago, and his journey from enemy to friend is what essentially turned Dominic Toretto’s crew into global special agents.

Fast X and Fast & Furious 11 are set to be a celebration of the saga, yet they will not be complete without Hobbs. The Rock’s chapter in Fast and Furious history is way too big to be ignored in the saga’s ultimate finale, but it is still difficult to imagine how Hobbs could be incorporated into Fast X and Fast & Furious 11 given the behind-the-scenes component. Curiously, Vin Diesel openly asked for Dwayne Johnson to return for Fast X in an Instagram post, but there is currently no indication that the feud between Diesel and Johnson has come to an end. With Hobbs & Shaw 2 still not happening, it remains to be seen if The Rock will ever play Fast and Furious’ Luke Hobbs again.

Next: Making Fast & Furious All About Dominic Toretto Was A Mistake

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Fast & Furious 11 Release Delay & Filming Start Date Confirmed By Director


Fast and Furious 11
is facing a release date delay to Summer 2026 due to strikes, with director Louis Leterrier confirming the sequel will not be hitting its April 4, 2025 date.
Leterrier also confirms that filming starts in Fall 2025 after finishing a horror movie in September.
The final installment in the
Fast Saga
reunites Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto for one last ride, while also leaving the door open for other spinoffs.

After facing multiple delays due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strikes, Fast and Furious 11 is seeing its release date delayed. The next installment in the Vin Diesel-fronted franchise is expected to be the last mainline sequel, while development continues on the Dwayne Johnson-led spinoff Hobbs & Reyes, a mysterious standalone movie penned by Fast X’s Zach Dean and a potential female-led spinoff. While a filming start date was never confirmed, Universal had previously set the movie for an April 2025 release date.

During a recent interview with Collider at a CCXP MX panel, Louis Leterrier was asked for an update on Fast and Furious 11. The director went on to confirm that the final mainline installment in the action franchise will no longer be making its April 4, 2025 release date, instead now aiming for a Summer 2026 release window with the filming start date being set for this fall. Check out what Leterrier said below:

It’s happening. It’s happening very, very soon. I’m able to shoot a little horror movie this summer. I’m finishing my horror movie on September 15th, and I start Fast on September 16th.

Will Fast 11’s Multiple Delays Help Or Hurt The Sequel?

Much like the tenth film before it, Fast and Furious 11 has faced a few behind-the-scenes hardships in its road to getting off the ground, namely the delays stemming from the 2023 strikes. While the latest movie seems to have retained its core creative team in comparison to the shift in directors from franchise vet Justin Lin to Leterrier on Fast X after reported creative differences between the former and Diesel, this change didn’t seem to help much with the continued downward trend recent sequels have seen from critics. Check out how the franchise’s Rotten Tomatoes scores compare below:

Title RT Critical Score RT Audience Score The Fast and the Furious 54% 74% 2 Fast 2 Furious 37% 50% The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift 37% 69% Fast & Furious 28% 67% Fast Five 78% 83% Fast & Furious 6 71% 84% Furious 7 81% 82% The Fate of the Furious 67% 72% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 67% 88% F9: The Fast Saga 59% 82% Fast X 56% 84%

Even looking outside the Fast and Furious franchise, many movie sequels have found themselves hurt by various delays, be they from creative changes, general release shifts or other factors. The action genre in particular is one in which lengthier development periods can lead to diminishing returns, be it A Good Day to Die Hard, Rambo: Last Blood or Diesel’s own xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. While Fast and Furious 11 may only be getting pushed back by a year, the delay is nonetheless a concern that the final installment could find itself in trouble.

Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) looking angry with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) looking unimpressed in Fast & Furious

Related 10 Most Exciting Things To Expect From Fast 11 Fast & Furious 11 will pull all the strings to become bigger than the previous installments, and here is why the film is worth being excited about.

On the other hand, the longer wait for Fast and Furious 11 to close out the mainline series of movies could actually prove beneficial for the sequel. Though Leterrier may be busy with another project in the lead-up to filming the next installment, writers Oren Uziel and Christina Hodson should now have more than enough time to really look back at the script and ensure it learns from the critical missteps of recent installments to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the Dominic Toretto saga.

Source: Collider

Fast and Furious 11 temp poster Fast and Furious 11 Fast and Furious 11 is the final movie in the Fast Saga. It reunites Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto with the rest of the cast for one last ride. However, the franchise is open for spinoff films like Hobbs & Shaw afterward.Director Louis Leterrier Release Date April 4, 2025 Distributor(s) Universal Pictures Writers Christina Hodson , Oren Uziel

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Vin Diesel Already Has His Perfect Fast & Furious Replacement Franchise With 51-Year-Old Remake


Vin Diesel’s dominance in Fast & Furious is ending, but Kojak could kick off a new action franchise for him.
Kojak’s reboot faces an uncertain future, but its similarity to Fast & Furious makes it a worthy project for Diesel.
Diesel’s potential shift from criminal racer to cop signifies a fresh start in a possible Fast & Furious-like series.

Vin Diesel’s days of playing Dominic Toretto are numbered, but the actor has already found his perfect Fast & Furious replacement. Diesel found a major breakout role in the early 2000s thanks to participating in The Fast and the Furious. The original 2001 street racing crime movie became the springboard for a sprawling franchise that has lasted for over two decades. The success of the Fast & Furious movies transformed Vin Diesel’s career, turning him into an even bigger star, especially in the action movie genre. But, Fast & Furious 11 is planned as the final chapter for him and the franchise.

The Fast & Furious franchise’s end will put Vin Diesel in an unfamiliar position of not having a major franchise to lean back on. This presents the actor with various options, such as changing the course of his career to pursue non-franchise roles. However, the more likely outcome is that Diesel will attempt to find a new IP that can replace Fast & Furious. He has had trouble in that regard recently, with franchises like xXx or Riddick running cold and Bloodshot and The Last Witch Hunter failing to launch franchises. There is another option for Diesel, though.

2:03 Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto from The Fast & Furious Franchise

Related Vin Diesel May Have Spoiled Fast & Furious 11’s Ending With $2.7 Billion Movie Comparison Dom’s death happening in Fast & Furious 11 may have been spoiled already, with Vin Diesel comparing the upcoming movie to another big franchise.

Kojak Can Be Vin Diesel’s New Action Crime Franchise After Fast & Furious
Diesel Has Been Developing The Reboot Since 2015

The impending conclusion of the Fast & Furious franchise means it is finally time for Vin Diesel’s Kojak reboot to get off the ground. The project was announced back in 2015 with Diesel re-teaming with Universal Pictures, the studio behind Fast & Furious, to develop a movie based on Kojak. The original TV series starred Telly Savalas as Theo Kokaj and ran for three seasons after debuting in 1973. The series revolves around Kojak, a New York detective known for being willing to go beyond the law and a love for cars and lollipops, and follows him as he investigates different cases.

Kojak was rebooted in 2005 as a TV show starring Ving Rhames, but it only ran for six episodes

Development on Vin Diesel’s Kojak movie has not been very active in the nine years since it was announced. However, it still maintains the base similarities to Fast & Furious, which makes the project a worthwhile endeavor for Diesel in terms of finding a new action franchise. He would now have another big action series about cars and crime, essentially making Kojak into a newer version of Fast & Furious. The irony here is that Diesel takes on the role of a cop after playing criminal racer Dominic Toretto.

Vin Diesel’s Involvement Can Morph Kojak Into A Major Action Franchise
Kojak Could Be A Fast & Furious Clone
Telly Savalas talking on the phone in Kojak

Looking at the original TV show, Kojak might not necessarily project to be a major blockbuster action franchise akin to Fast & Furious. The TV series was relatively grounded and small due to the nature of its production. However, the fact that Diesel and Universal pinpointed this property as something they wanted to revive together is telling. The announcement of Kojak’s reboot came months after Furious 7 debuted in theaters and took the franchise to new heights at the box office and in terms of how ridiculously big the action and story could get.

It’s sometimes difficult to remember that Fast & Furious started off with a story about DVD thieves who were also street racers before Diesel helped turn it into something much bigger. With that experience and success already behind him, it would be understandable if a similar path was envisioned for Kojak. The series could then morph into a Fast & Furious clone, one that gives Vin Diesel a new franchise to headline and Universal a “fresh” action franchise to grow.

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The Rock’s WWE Run Means Fast & Furious 11 Must Make 1 Major Hobbs Change


Hobbs from Fast & Furious 11 needs a gritty edge like The Rock’s WWE character to keep the franchise fresh and exciting.
The Rock’s time away from the Fast & Furious universe provides the perfect reason for Hobbs to return with a personal vendetta and a more savage attitude.
While Hobbs shouldn’t become a full-fledged villain in Fast & Furious 11, adding some edginess and dirty tricks could make his character more intriguing and dynamic.

Fast & Furious 11 must make one major Hobbs change after The Rock’s incredible WWE run. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s WWE return surpassed his recent movies, with the actor creating some of the best work of his career. Having returned to a thunderous reception, The Rock was able to flip the crowd’s reception by becoming a heel and playing a major part in WrestleMania’s main events. The Rock hasn’t played a villain on screen for years, as even his depiction of Black Adam lent more into the character’s anti-hero side, which made his wrestling run all the more refreshing.

While his wrestling character may not perfectly translate into the Fast & Furious universe, there is one aspect of The Rock’s WWE run that the franchise should attempt to implement. After debuting in Fast Five, The Rock’s best Fast & Furious scenes helped contribute to the movie series becoming so popular, with Luke Hobbs becoming an instrumental part of the story. He was even given his own spinoff alongside Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and is set to get a solo movie in the future. Despite this, Hobbs would still benefit from adding one key aspect of The Rock’s WWE run.

The Rock’s WWE Run Proves Fast & Furious 11 Needs To Give Hobbs More Of An Edge
Fast & Furious Would Benefit From Hobbs Adopting Some Of The Rock’s WWE Tendancies
Dwayne The Rock Johnson in Black Adam, WWE, and Hobbs and Shaw

Given how electrifying The Rock’s recent WWE run was, there is no doubt Fast & Furious 11 needs to give Hobbs more of an edge. Although the character has had his more serious moments, like most of the Fast & Furious cast, Hobbs tends to mix action with comedy. Hobbs and Shaw are supposed to be two of the more stoic heroes, yet they are constantly at each other’s throats and cracking jokes to help maintain the franchise’s lighthearted core. However, giving Hobbs a grittier side would help the character thrive upon his return.

The Rock’s Fast & Furious return may redeem Fast X’s box office, but the character needs to come back stronger than ever. By allowing him to be more ruthless, he can still maintain some elements of comedy but also become more interesting in the process. Johnson proved that despite being a detestable heel, he was still as hilarious as ever during his recent WWE tenure. This proves that he can maintain Fast & Furious’ tone and humorous style while being more layered; therefore, Hobbs adopting some of The Rock’s WWE characteristics could make him even more entertaining.

Fast & Furious Already Has A Reason For Hobbs To Be More Savage
Hobbs Has Been Away From The Franchise For Several Years

Making a major change to Hobbs’ character could be tough to explain, but Fast & Furious 11 already has a great reason to make him more savage. His four-year absence from the franchise gives him a perfect excuse to come back with a vengeance and potentially have a personal attachment to Fast & Furious 11’s villains. Hobbs’ time away from the main story could be explained through a connection to Fast X’s secondary villain, Aimes. Aimes’ villain twist in Fast X was well executed and suggests he’ll be around for the sequel, which is the perfect reason to bring back Hobbs.

Having a more personal story with one of the villains could allow Hobbs to continue his great quips and one-liners, but it would also give him more of an edge.

Fast X never explained why he’s back, but having a personal vendetta against Aimes could be an intriguing reason. Given Dom and Dante are the focal point of the franchise’s conclusion, Hobbs returning to take down Aimes would avoid overshadowing the main story while still giving him an interesting role. Having a personal story with one of the villains could allow Hobbs to continue his great quips and one-liners, while also giving him more of an edge. This provides The Rock with the perfect reason to implement some of his heel traits while still portraying a morally good hero.

2:34 Image 147 Related Predicting The Ending Of All 13 Fast & Furious Characters In Fast 11 The Fast Saga is set to conclude with Fast & Furious 11 – or Fast X 2 – but how will Dom Toretto and his family’s stories come to a definitive end?

Why Fast & Furious Can’t Bring The Rock Back As A Villain
Hobbs Already Appeared As An Antagonist In Fast Five
A custom image featuring Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs in the Fast and Furious movies Custom image by Debanjana Chowdhury

Although The Rock’s villainous tendencies worked well in the WWE, Fast & Furious can’t bring him back as an antagonist. Johnson already played the main villain of Fast Five, as Hobbs was originally an enemy of Dom and his crew before becoming an ally. Hobbs’ role in Fast Five was one of his best, but despite being the main antagonist, he always had a level of integrity. Dropping all of this to make him a villain in the final movie would be completely unnecessary, especially as the franchise needs him to remain a hero for his spinoff.

Fast & Furious 11 may end the main story, but The Rock will be part of the franchise beyond this, and altering his character so drastically wouldn’t make any sense. Instead, adding some extra edge to his character would have the same effect and would avoid stealing the thunder from Dante and Aimes. Although Fast & Furious 11 shouldn’t make him a villain, the film can still allow Hobbs to play dirty and pull some cheap tricks in order to show a grittier side, while letting him taunt his enemies when he inevitably helps save the day.

Fast & Furious 11
is scheduled to be released in theaters on April 4, 2025.

Fast and Furious 11 temp poster Fast and Furious 11 Fast and Furious 11 is the final movie in the Fast Saga. It reunites Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto with the rest of the cast for one last ride. However, the franchise is open for spinoff films like Hobbs & Shaw afterward.Director Louis Leterrier Release Date April 4, 2025 Distributor(s) Universal Pictures Writers Christina Hodson , Oren Uziel

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