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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 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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