×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Deadpool 2’s’ David Leitch the Frontrunner to Direct ‘Fast and Furious’ Spinoff

Universal’s untitled “Fast and Furious” spinoff, centered on Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s characters, may have found its director.

“John Wick” and “Deadpool 2” director David Leitch is the top choice to helm the movie that has Johnson and Statham reprising their roles of special agent Luke Hobbs and criminal mastermind Deckard Shaw, sources tell Variety.

Since his arrival in the franchise’s fifth installment, Universal has tried to find a way to spin-off Johnson’s Hobbs character, given his popularity with fans. With the arrival of Statham’s character in the seventh movie of the series, and seeing the chemistry between the two in “The Fate of the Furious,” Universal took action on plans to develop a spinoff. It’s set to hit theaters on July 26, 2019.

Plot details are vague and have gone through various changes throughout the years (at one point, Charlize Theron’s “Fate of the Furious” villain was considered as a potential antagonist, though those plans have since been scrapped), but the main idea was that the often-at-odds duo would team up somehow.

“Fast and Furious” architect Chris Morgan was assigned to the script and turned in his final draft at the beginning of this year. Given Johnson’s busy schedule — he’s currently in production on Season 4 of “Ballers,” followed by Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” movie — the pic is scheduled to shoot in August, giving Leitch time to meet with all parties to discuss where they see the story going.

The other element in the mix is where the spinoff leaves Hobbs and Shaw in the ninth installment of the main “Fast and Furious” series. Justin Lin is back on as director, but as of right now, the film does not have a start date, although Universal is still very much trying to get that film up and running.

As for Leitch, the stunt coordinator-turned-director has been a rising star on the action scene after he and his stunt partner, Chad Stahelski, broke out with the cult hit “John Wick.” Stahelski took the reins for “John Wick 2” as Leitch moved on to the Theron action movie “Atomic Blonde,” the film that helped land him the job of “Deadpool 2” after that sequel lost its director. With “Deadpool 2” in post-production, Leitch was looking for his next challenge and after meeting with execs and Johnson, he was seen as the top choice to launch this potential new franchise.

“Deadpool 2” bows this Memorial Day. Leitch is repped by WME. Johnson is repped by WME and the Garcia Companies and Statham is repped by CAA. Morgan is repped by ICM Partners and attorney Jeff Frankel.

More Film

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    'Green Book' Lands Post-Oscars Theatrical Release in China

    Fresh off Monday’s news that it had picked up five Academy Award nominations, best picture favorite “Green Book” is set for more good luck. The film will hit Chinese theaters on March 1, the first weekend after the Oscars, which fall on Feb 24, Alibaba Pictures announced on its official social media account. The film [...]

  • Fan Bingbing

    Chinese Celebrities Pay $1.7 Billion in Back Taxes Following Fan Bingbing Scandal

    Chinese film and TV stars have paid some $1.7 billion (RMB11.7 billion) of additional taxes, following the mid-2018 scandal surrounding actress Fan Bingbing. The figure was announced Tuesday by China’s State Tax Administration. Chinese authorities launched a probe into the taxation affairs of the entertainment sector in October. Companies and individuals were asked to examine [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Film News Roundup: AMC, Regal to Leave 'Roma' Out of Best Picture Showcases

    In today’s film news roundup, “Roma” will not be in the best picture showcases at AMC and Regal, “Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church” gets a release and SAG-AFTRA’s David White has a new appointment. ‘ROMA’ SPURNED AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas are leaving Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” out of their upcoming annual showings of the contenders for [...]

  • First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban

    First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban-Inspired After-Party (EXCLUSIVE)

    Celebrities at this year’s SAG Awards won’t have to go far for some tropical fun. Sunday’s annual post-show gala, hosted by People magazine for the 23rd year, is set to feature a Cuban-themed party space adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. “We’re kind of going back to more of a thematic element. I have some close [...]

  • Paul DavidsonVariety Big Data Summit Presented

    Listen: The Orchard's Paul Davidson on Surviving Sundance Bidding Wars

    Hollywood heads to Park City, Utah this week in the hopes of finding the next big Sundance Film Festival breakout. Paul Davidson, executive vice president of film and television at The Orchard, plans to be in the thick of it. In today’s edition of Variety‘s “Strictly Business” podcast, Davidson opens up about The Orchard’s strategy [...]

  • Young Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie:

    James Gandolfini's Son Michael Gandolfini Cast as Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie

    Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini, will play the young Tony Soprano in “The Many Saints of Newark,” the  prequel movie to the television series “The Sopranos.” “It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” Gandolfini said. “I’m thrilled that I am [...]

  • Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born

    The Message of the Oscar Nominations: You'd Better Have a Social Message

    Each year at the Left Coast crack of dawn, when the Oscar nominations are announced, there’s generally at least one major nomination many pundits were predicting that fails to materialize. When that happens, entertainment media tends to rise up as one and say the s-word: snub. In truth, it’s not usually a snub; it’s just [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content