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What Would Fast & Furious Movies Be Like Now Without The Rock?

Dwayne Johnson was part of the main Fast and Furious films from Fast Five to The Fate of the Furious, and the history of the franchise would have been a lot different had The Rock never been cast as Hobbs. Curiously, The Rock was initially not supposed to play Hobbs in Fast Five, as the character was originally created for Tommy Lee Jones. Vin Diesel eventually decided to bring Dwayne Johnson into the Fast and Furious family in the role of Luke Hobbs, a character that changed Fast and Furious forever both in front and behind the camera.

While Dwayne Johnson was already making a name for himself in Hollywood, Fast Five helped cement The Rock as one of the world’s biggest action stars. Fast Five went on to claim $626.1 million at the box office, the highest-grossing film in The Rock’s career up until that point. Dwayne Johnson would later star in other blockbuster movies, including in his own franchises, but the actor remained part of Fast and Furious for three other movies and a spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw. The Rock did not return for F9 following his fallout with Vin Diesel, and, despite a solid box office, Hobbs & Shaw still hasn’t received a sequel. The Rock is also not expected to return for Fast X, the first of a two-part story that will conclude the Fast and Furious saga.

Related: Fast & Furious Has A Big Villain Problem: Can Momoa In Fast 10 Fix It?

Initially brought into Fast and Furious as a villain, The Rock’s Hobbs became a Dominic Toretto ally already in Fast Five. After chasing Dom and his crew in the middle of Rio de Janeiro, Hobbs realized that Toretto was not the real enemy – setting up Hobbs to become part of the Fast and Furious family. Considering how The Rock starred in four of Fast and Furious’ most successful movies, including the two that have crossed the billion-dollar mark, it is hard to picture what Fast and Furious would have been in the 2010s without Dwayne Johnson. The Rock’s Hobbs was more than an antagonist turned into an ally – he was a symbol of how much the Fast and Furious movies had changed. Without The Rock, Fast and Furious’ transformation from street racing movies to action-packed blockbusters might have never worked, and the franchise’s worldwide box office would have never become as big.

How The Rock Changed Fast & Furious Movies
Vin Diesel as Toretto, Paul Walker as Brian, and Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs

While Fast Five would be a bigger movie than Fast & Furious (2009) by design, the addition of Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs into the mix made it so that Dom, Brian, and all the other characters had to become more than just pilots to survive. Fast and Furious had always dealt with crime bosses and dangerous people, such as Carter Verone and Braga, but still, up until Fast Five, the plot would often come down to Brian and Dom’s piloting skills. That completely changed once The Rock became Fast Five’s villain, as no movie would bring Dwayne Johnson as an antagonist to keep him inside a car throughout the whole film. Hobbs was unlike any of the previous Fast and Furious villains – he was not a mysterious figure giving orders behind the curtains, nor a pilot trying to prove his value. Hobbs was an action-movie villain, one that could go toe-to-toe against Vin Diesel’s Toretto. Fast Five director Justin Lin did not waste the opportunity to have The Rock fight Vin Diesel on screen. Hobbs versus Dom became the first of a series of incredible hand-to-hand combats in the Fast and Furious films, something that was rare up until that point. With fewer cars and more fights, the franchise’s tone had then changed forever.

The Rock’s Hobbs Took Fast & Furious To A Global Level
Hobbs in The Fate of the Furious

The Rock’s Hobbs led Fast and Furious to become both a global story and a global franchise. The idea was for Fast Five to have Toretto and his family cornered far from home, allowing the antagonist Hobbs to have the upper hand – at least in theory. As a special federal agent, Hobbs had all the resources that the story asked for. That meant that Hobbs could find Toretto wherever he was, thus expanding the scale of Fast Five immediately. Fast Five was set in Rio de Janeiro, although most of the movie was not actually shot in Brazil, which started a tradition of Fast and Furious movies being set all over the globe.

The Rock’s Hobbs continued to be the key to that global approach, as he was the one to recruit Dom’s crew for following worldwide missions. That formula was repeated in Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, and The Fate of the Furious. In addition, both Vin Diesel and The Rock had by then become global movie stars – which prompted the Fast and Furious franchise to become a worldwide box office giant. Therefore, without The Rock, that global element might have only come later, if at all.

Related: Fast X The Best One? Alan Ritchson’s Claim Is (Almost) Impossible

Fast & Furious Might Still Be A Street Racing Franchise
Brian and Toretto wearing sunglasses in a convertible in The Fast and the Furious

With Fast Five focused on The Rock’s Hobbs chasing Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto and on all the action sequences it could deliver featuring the two action stars, there was basically no time left for the usual Fast and Furious’ street racing scenes. Those had already not been the focus of Fast & Furious (2009), but the movie still reserved part of its story for Braga’s racing circuits. Fast Five, on the other hand, completely lost the street racing element. In fact, Fast Five was the first Fast and Furious film not to show a street race from start to finish, which adds up to the film completely shifting from the franchise’s original tone. The Rock’s Hobbs chasing the crew set the tone for Fast Five very quickly, and there was no room in the story for the usual Brian and Dom races.

The fact that Fast Five cuts right as Dom Toretto, Brian, Roman, Tej, and Han were about to start a race and then jumps to Hobbs finding the crew is a perfect example of how The Rock’s character got in the way of the franchise’s old tropes – a change that, while divisive, certainly worked for the box office. Without The Rock’s Hobbs, street racing would have most likely remained as Fast and Furious’ biggest selling point, although that might not have worked in the long run as proven by Tokyo Drift’s disappointing box office.

Dom’s Story Would Be Worse Without Hobbs
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto and Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs in Fast and Furious 5

Fast & Furious (2009), which saw Vin Diesel’s Dom and Paul Walker’s Brian reuniting for the first time since The Fast and the Furious, was almost a rehash of The Fate of the Furious. However, unlike The Fast and the Furious, Fast & Furious was very much focused on Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto. The driving force of the plot was Letty’s death and Toretto’s quest for vengeance, with Brian being framed more as an element in Dom’s story rather than as a protagonist himself. Toretto was becoming too big of a character for the Fast and Furious franchise, which is why it was so positive to have someone like The Rock joining the saga. The Rock naturally brought part of the spotlight into himself, which indirectly helped Toretto. Part of what made Dominic Toretto so interesting in the first place was that he was technically the bad guy that Brian was supposed to arrest, but audiences were rooting for him to get away.

That was exactly the premise of Fast Five, which only worked because it had a villain that could actually be a threat to Dominic Toretto, Hobbs. Even after joining the Fast and Furious family, The Rock’s Hobbs continued to help make the franchise more balanced, as the focus did not always have to be on Vin Diesel’s Toretto. Therefore, Dom’s story would have been worse without Hobbs – as F9’s problems eventually proved. Without Brian and Hobbs, two pillars of the Fast and Furious franchise, F9 ended up being more of a Dominic Toretto movie than a Fast and Furious movie. Had The Rock never joined the franchise, such an issue might have appeared much sooner.

Key Release Dates Fast X Poster

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Fast & Furious 11’s Franchise-Ending Updates Makes The Rock’s New Hobbs Spinoff Even More Confusing

Summary

Fast & Furious 11 will be the final ride for the franchise, closing the Toretto chapter after many years of success and some recent disappointments.
The status of The Rock’s Hobbs spinoff, Hobbs & Reyes, is uncertain as plans for the franchise’s finale have undergone changes.
While Fast 11 may mark the end of the main series, there is potential for Johnson’s character Hobbs to continue with solo adventures in the aftermath.

The latest update for Fast and Furious 11 suggests the saga truly is coming to a close soon – leaving Dwayne Johnson’s planned Hobbs spinoff in a strange place. After struggling for about a decade to find his footing as a leading man, The Rock finally broke through with his supporting role in Fast Five. His character Hobbs was essentially a human tank chasing after Dom (Vin Diesel) and his gang, and Johnson completely stole the 2011 sequel.

He continued with the Fast and Furious movies for several entries, but after a high-profile falling out with Diesel during The Fate of the Furious, he exited. Of course, Johnson’s stardom was at the point where he could focus on his own project, though he did reteam with Jason Statham for spinoff Hobbs and Shaw. In Fast X’s mid-credits scene, Johnson made a shock return as Hobbs – after previously vowing to never return to the main series. This brief scene teased the upcoming spinoff Hobbs & Reyes, where Johnson’s character will face off against Jason Momoa’s vengeful Reyes.

Fast & Furious 11’s Finale Plans Make The Rock’s Hobbs Movie Confusing
Hobbs & Reyes’ status needs to be confirmed
Dominic Toretto overtop Fast X scene of cast eating at table

Before the release of the 2023 sequel, star and producer Diesel suggested Fast and Furious 11 might not be the end, as originally planned. Instead, Diesel said the finale could be extended to two more installments, but following Fast X’s disappointing box office performance, the story will indeed wrap up with one last ride. In a recent Instagram post, Diesel confirmed the eleventh outing will be “the grand finale” – which makes the current status of Hobbs & Reyes a tad confusing.

Vin Diesel looking serious as Dom in Fast X. Related Fast & Furious 11’s Franchise-Ending Plans Reaffirmed By Vin Diesel In Emotional Development Update VIn Diesel offers an update on Fast & Furious 11’s development, reaffirming the next sequel will be the end for the mainline franchise.

There hasn’t been much heard about the offshoot since it was first confirmed in 2023, though it’s said to bridge the gap between Fast X and the next outing. Whether this means it will resolve the latter’s cliffhanger ending or feature any other main entry cast members are also unknown.

If
Fast 11
is truly arriving in April 2025, that doesn’t leave much time for
Hobbs & Reyes
to enter production and come out before its release date. Unless the project has already begun filming in secret – which feels very doubtful – there are signs the plan for Hobbs’ next adventure have changed.

How The Rock’s New Fast & Furious Movies Will Tie Into Fast 11
Will the spinoff truly bridge the gap between Fast X & 11?
Hobbs and Dante Reyes looking sideways in the Fast and Furious movies

When the spinoff was announced, the intention was for Hobbs & Reyes to take place between parts ten and eleven, and set the stage for the latter. Given the tepid response to Fast X, reports suggest the roadmap for Fast 11 has changed. These changes are said to include a new villain to replace Reyes and a more streamlined narrative that will take the series back to basics. Given how bloated the last chapter felt, these alterations sound like they’re for the best, but they don’t bode well for Hobbs & Reyes.

Given that it was Hobbs who pulled the trigger on his father in Fast Five, it makes all the sense in the world that Momoa’s Reyes would seek revenge on Hobbs. If anything, the pairing of Johnson and Momoa sounds epic, and if Fast and Furious 11 truly is getting a new antagonist, it would work in the finale’s favor if Hobbs took down Reyes before then. Again, the lack of visible movement on Hobbs & Reyes puts a giant question mark on it, since it doesn’t appear it will beat Fast 11 to the big screen.

Will Fast & Furious Truly End After Fast 11?
Is it the end of the road for Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs too?

All of this leads to the central question: will Fast and Furious 11 actually end the entire franchise, or will it branch off in a new direction? Assuming Hobbs & Reyes doesn’t beat the next entry to theaters as originally planned, it would be odd for Fast 11 to “end” the saga, only for Johnson’s Hobbs to have a solo adventure straight after. It would be stranger for Hobbs & Reyes to arrive before the next sequel and become a hit, which would surely lead to calls for more sequels, undermining Fast and Furious 11’s ending claims.

Fast & Furious Movies Featuring The Rock Release Year Fast Five 2011 Fast & Furious 6 2013 Furious 7 2015 The Fate of the Furious 2017 Hobbs & Shaw 2019 Fast X 2023

The franchise was largely bulletproof for many years, but the reception to both Fast X and F9: The Fast Saga has shown cracks in the armor. Two decades on, it’s about time to wrap up the Toretto chapter and let the family enjoy their barbeques in peace without being targeted by the vengeful third cousin of a past villain. Fast and Furious 11 must deliver on its promise to end this part of the series – but there’s no reason Johnson’s Hobbs couldn’t continue for solo adventures in the aftermath either.

Watch Fast X on Prime Video

Source: Vin Diesel/Instagram

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.Release Date April 4, 2025 Distributor(s) Universal Pictures

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The Rock Will Have To Save Fast & Furious Again 14 Years After Doing It In Fast Five

Summary

The Rock’s return to Fast & Furious signals the end of his beef with Vin Diesel and a pivot in his career.
Fast 11 needs a streamlined approach, shedding excess characters and bloated plots to regain momentum.
The franchise has evolved significantly since Fast Five, but Hobbs’ return may be crucial to its future success.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s first appearance in the Fast and Furious saga drove it to new heights, but over a decade on, can he do it all again? The Rock was such a charismatic presence during his WWE days that he felt like a natural fit for movie stardom – but it was a long road to get there. Most of his early star vehicles like The Rundown underperformed, and he was soon relegated to mediocre kids’ movies like The Tooth Fairy. It wasn’t until he was cast as Hobbs in Fast Five that his star persona finally clicked.

Hobbs evolved from an enemy to an ally of Dom’s (Vin Diesel) crew and scored his own spinoff with 2019’s Hobbs & Shaw. Outside of the Fast & Furious franchise, Johnson’s career took off in a major way too, with a run of hits that included his Jumanji sequels and Rampage. His high-profile falling out with Vin Diesel made it appear he would never return to the main series, but Fast X’s mid-credits sequence revealed Hobbs was indeed coming back, and being targeted by new villain Reyes (Jason Momoa).

Fast-X-Vin-Diesel

Related Fast & Furious’ Next Movie Must End The Franchise’s 9-Year Downward Trend

The Rock’s Fast & Furious Return Comes Alongside Fast X’s Box Office Disappointment
Will Johnson’s Hobbs come to the rescue of Dom and friends?
Custom image of Dwayne Johnson a Hobbs in Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw Custom image by Debanjana Chowdhury

Just how much Hobbs and Dom will interact in the upcoming Fast and Furious 11 remains to be seen, but Johnson and Diesel at least appear to be on speaking terms again. Fast X’s Hobbs scene was a genuine surprise to fans, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. The tenth installment was a troubled production, with original helmer Justin Lin quitting the project and being replaced by Louis Leterrier. The movie’s budget also ballooned to $340 million (via The Numbers), with Fast X’s eventual $714 million gross being seen as a disappointment by Universal.

The sequel was greeted with unenthused reviews too, and there are signs of general audience fatigue with the whole saga. Hobbs was missed during the last two entries, with the character being a good counterbalance to Dom’s self-serious presence, and while Hobbs & Shaw had issues of its own, it was more entertaining than Fast X. Johnson is a natural fit for this intentionally overblown franchise, and he brings a welcome amount of humor and macho energy to proceedings.

Fast & Furious Needs To Regain Momentum Ahead Of Fast X, Part 2
Fast 11 needs to get audiences excited again

A big sin of Fast X is that it reheated plot beats and twists the series had covered already, including yet another villain seeking revenge for the defeat of a family member. Most of the cast were split up into smaller groups, and the film had too many subplots and characters to track. If followers of the series felt fatigued by how bloated the narrative was, the film must have been near incomprehensible to newcomers. There are reports that Fast and Furious 11 will go back to basics, with a simple mission and a new villain.

Stripping away the excess – both in terms of characters and sidequests – will be crucial to Fast 11 regaining some sense of momentum. Even the action sequences in Fast X were lacking in genuine thrills or invention, and for a movie with “Fast” in the title, it didn’t feel very propulsive. Like with the purported superhero fatigue currently affecting the MCU, audiences may be getting weary of Fast and Furious’ bag of tricks. If part eleven is truly the end of the road, it really needs to focus on delivering an emotionally satisfying, flab-free outing.

The Next Fast & Furious Movies Can’t Repeat Fast X’s Mistakes
Hobbs and Reyes should take note from Fast X’s reception
A custom of Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto and Jason Momoa as Dante Reyes in Fast X

Alongside the next sequel, Johnson and Momoa will square off in Hobbs & Reyes, which is set to bridge the gap between Fast X and Fast 11. Given the hammy energy Momoa brought to the sociopathic Reyes, the pairing of him and Johnson should make the spinoff a fun one. An advantage of the Hobbs’ spinoffs is they’re free to untangle themselves from the baggage of the main story and can play with the rules a little. Hobbs vs Reyes already indicates a leaner storyline, but the next main entry isn’t so lucky.

Fast X’s cliffhanger ending left too many plates spinning, including the fates of Dom, his son and most of the gang after Reyes outsmarted them all. Presumably, the outcome of this will have to wait until Fast and Furious 11 is released, though if Hobbs and Reyes is set between the two sequels, the spinoff may have to deal with some of Fast X’s fallout too. If the news of the next sequel focusing on a single mission is true, this is a step in the right direction.

The tenth movie pulled itself into too many directions, so Fast 11 needs a streamlined approach. It doesn’t require any more wacky plot twists or surprise family members and must deliver on the promise of closing out the current era of the series. Instead of holding out for yet another sequel, Diesel should focus his creative energies on giving Dom and pals the sendoff they deserve, and realize that Fast X’s maximalist hurt the movie.

Fast & Furious (& The Rock’s Career) Have Changed A Lot Since Fast Five
Johnson’s return doesn’t guarantee a Fast & Furious return to form
A custom image featuring Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs in the Fast and Furious movies Custom image by Debanjana Chowdhury

Every Fast & Furious Featuring Hobbs Release Year Fast Five 2011 Fast and Furious 6 2013 Furious 7 2015 The Fate of the Furious 2017 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 2019 Fast X 2023

Johnson’s Fast and Furious comeback is exciting because it means the beef between him and Diesel is officially squashed, and that Hobbs is no longer an outcast from the main storyline. That’s all good news, but in reality, Johnson’s career outside the property has changed in recent years. While his box office record was once unimpeachable, Johnson’s returning off the back of the high-profile failure of Black Adam, and the critical drubbing faced by projects like Red Notice.

In truth, the decision to return to Fast and Furious was likely to give his own career a little boost. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but while he’s arguably the biggest star of the main cast, The Rock could use a couple of solid box-office hits too. The main Fast and Furious films have changed a lot since Hobbs’ debut in the fifth film. Fast Five officially marked the turning point where they switched from street race action movies to the global-hopping blockbusters they transformed into.

The series is barely recognizable from its early days and has only become more outlandish. Hobbs’ return obviously won’t have the same impact as his Fast Five introduction, but it should at least signal the end of the series is near and all the key players will be there. If the franchise is to continue beyond the Toretto clan, Johnson’s Hobbs is the natural way to go, so he may be responsible for saving Fast and Furious in more ways than one.

Fast X
is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Source: The Numbers

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.Release Date April 4, 2025 Distributor(s) Universal Pictures

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Fast & Furious 11’s Franchise-Ending Plans Reaffirmed By Vin Diesel In Emotional Development Update

Summary

Fast & Furious 11
marks the end of the mainline franchise, with Vin Diesel confirming the finale in an emotional Instagram post.
Diesel shared that story meetings for the movie are complete, promising an incredibly powerful conclusion to the Fast Saga.
While the mainline franchise will conclude with
Fast & Furious 11
, spinoff films like
Hobbs & Shaw
will continue the series in the future.

While progress continues on the various spinoffs, Vin Diesel reaffirms Fast & Furious 11 will be the end for the mainline franchise in a new development update. The next installment in the long-running action franchise had been announced at the same time as Fast X’s development, with the plans for the movies to be a two-part sendoff for the series. After an initial pause due to the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes in 2023, Universal quickly got to work on putting together the script for Fast 11, with subsequent reports varying on how it would tackle its predecessor’s cliffhanger ending.

With just over a year remaining until its scheduled release date, Diesel took to his Instagram to offer an update on Fast & Furious 11’s development.

In his post, as seen above, the star/producer emotionally reflected on the franchise’s journey thus far, particularly as he reaffirms that the next movie will be the end for the mainline franchise. Diesel also offered a promising update on the movie’s development, confirming that the story meetings are finished and promising a finale in which “incredibly powerful is an understatement”.

Will The Fast & Furious Franchise Continue After 11?

Despite once being a dominant franchise at the box office, the end for Fast & Furious quickly seemed inevitable in recent years as the financial returns began dropping. While F9: The Fast Saga’s box office numbers could be chalked up to its mid-pandemic release, Fast X’s didn’t fare much better, despite touting a production budget over $100 million larger than its predecessor. This all points to a general waning interest among audiences akin to the recent superhero fatigue affecting the Marvel Cinematic Universe and remaining DC Extended Universe releases.

Though Diesel’s post confirms the end of the mainline franchise, it doesn’t mean Fast & Furious can’t continue after the upcoming eleventh movie. It was confirmed in mid 2023 that development was underway on a new standalone sequel entitled Hobbs & Reyes, with Dwayne Johnson continuing his role after his surprise return in Fast X and Jason Momoa reprising his villain role. Around the same time, Johnson also confirmed that Hobbs & Shaw 2 was still in development, but that those plans were postponed in favor of the movie bridging the gap between the tenth and eleventh movies.

2:31 5 Upcoming Fast & Furious Movies Every Sequel & Spinoff In-Development

Related 5 Upcoming Fast & Furious Movies: Every Sequel & Spinoff In-Development Fast & Furious has built a massive franchise over 20 years and it’s set to keep expanding even after the final film thanks to these spin-offs.

Additionally, plans for a female-led Fast & Furious spinoff were announced in 2019, with Charlize Theron expected to reprise her role as the villainous Cipher for the project, though very few updates have been shared in the years since. Given Universal seems to be generally reconfiguring their plans for the franchise’s future, it remains to be seen whether these spinoff plans will come to fruition after Fast & Furious 11. One can at least hope that Diesel’s promise of an epic finale proves to be true with the extended development time given to the next installment.

Fast X is available to stream on Prime Video.

Source: Vin Diesel/Instagram

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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