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.
Hobbs & Shaw Doesn’t Happen
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
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
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
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.
son Statham’s Shaw Returns For F9 (& Improves Han’s Reveal)
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
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.
[Disclaimer: This news has been made on the basis of information received from the website. News Kosh does not confirm this from its side.]