“You are going to f‑‑‑ing love this movie.”
That’s the assured declaration Dwayne Johnson makes about his upcoming movie Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw upon studying that he’s speaking to a Fast super-fan. “I’m sharing this with you now because I know you’re such a big fan,” Johnson says to yours really, who has seen Fast 5 roughly 100 occasions. “There’s going to be some big, ‘Oh, holy sh‑‑, I did not see that coming’ moments.”
The existence of Hobbs & Shaw itself just isn’t a “holy sh‑‑, I did not see that coming” second. Since Johnson made his Fast debut in 2011’s Fast 5, there was speak of a spin-off centered on his indestructible authorities agent, Luke Hobbs, and now, after 18 years, eight films, and greater than $5 billion on the worldwide field workplace, Hollywood’s most sudden franchise is increasing. However Johnson isn’t driving solo — he’s joined within the movie (and title) by Jason Statham, who, as Deckard Shaw, confirmed profitable chemistry with Johnson in final yr’s The Destiny of the Furious.
To debut an unique first take a look at the duo in Hobbs & Shaw (seen above), EW chatted with Johnson about why Statham needed to be his companion, going to battle towards Idris Elba, and instilling the Fast household values of their new movie.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You guys are nonetheless within the midst of filming, so how’s it been going?
DWAYNE JOHNSON: It’s been going nice. We’ve been out right here in London for about eight weeks now, and we’re wrapping up the London portion of the shoot. With issues like this, you set your greatest foot ahead, you set your greatest group collectively, and you hope that issues work out, however you by no means know, as with all manufacturing, the way it works out, particularly on location and when it has so many various variables concerned with one thing of this measurement and magnitude. We’re going to wrap this portion up in a few week, take the vacation down, and then we’re going to maneuver the whole manufacturing to Hawaii, and that’s the place we will shut out the film.
It has to really feel surreal to lastly be making this, as a result of this has all the time type of been the plan, courting all the best way again to your first look in Fast 5, proper?
Sure, completely. It’s very thrilling and it’s additionally very motivating. Once more, this has been, as you stated, a very long time coming. We began speaking concerning the potential of a spin-off actually after Fast 5. After which when Fast 6 got here round, that’s once we began having actual talks about it, however then the problem was simply discovering out what the artistic could possibly be and how we cracked that. I’m actually glad that we weren’t solely have the ability to crack the artistic and actually lean into the connection and chemistry — the biting chemistry between myself and Jason Statham — however I feel that additionally you discover out that it’s one thing the fans have been wanting for a while now.
When you’ve gotten a franchise that’s as profitable because the Fast & Furious franchise, the objective, definitely my aim, was all the time to attempt and create a state of affairs the place we have now as a lot longevity as we probably can have. And in that spirit, you must evolve and you need to spin off and you must create new characters and new tales, particularly once you’re coming off Fast eight, the place you’ve an eight on the finish of your title. [Laughs.] And whereas that one was wildly profitable as nicely, all of us collectively felt, myself, Jason Statham, the studio, all proper, now’s the time, let’s make our transfer. So it’s been fairly surreal, however it’s additionally been loads of enjoyable and fairly thrilling.
At what level did you begin to assume it needed to be you and Jason? Was it after your nice chemistry in Fast eight, or was that dynamic arrange there in hopes of resulting in this?
With Fast 5 the dialogue was, we now have a personality in Hobbs that the viewers had actually loved, and is there a model of this the place we begin to think about a spin-off? And we began that early dialogue, however then we thought it’s in all probability greatest to proceed to evolve the character of Hobbs. Let’s have him creatively woven into the Fast & Furious tapestry much more with Fast 6. Then when Furious 7 got here alongside, it was after Furious 7 that we have been going to do the spin-off, however then, in fact, with the passing of Paul [Walker] and the unimaginable quantity of heartache that that had brought on not solely his household however definitely the world and us, we felt like, let’s put that on maintain and let’s put all of our focus and consideration on Fast eight.
And it was in Fast eight, to get you a solution, it was discovering it in Fast eight that when Jason and I sat down early, earlier than we began capturing, we thought, what if we had a chance right here the place we created two characters that have been biting, but would do it a winking means, that they really loved speaking sh‑‑ to one another and in a very bizarre means loved beating the sh‑‑ out of one another as nicely. [Laughs.] After which afterwards, hey, let’s sit down and have a drink. And we acknowledged in a short time that we had this cool and distinctive bond. I’ve recognized Jason for a really very long time, and we felt like, hey, let’s give this a shot. Let’s lean into the chemistry and let’s lean into some comedy and see the place it goes. And it was after Fast eight got here out that, as with all the things, I depend on the viewers’s suggestions, and the viewers suggestions got here again throughout the board that they liked the characters, they beloved the chemistry. And within the wake of that, we sat down with Common and stated, “Okay, this is the right opportunity and this feels like the right creative inroad. Now let’s go make a great movie that the world will enjoy.”
The place does that relationship between the characters stand going into Hobbs & Shaw? As a result of they have been enemies in Furious 7 and then pressured to group up in Destiny, however regardless of the hilarious dynamic, I wouldn’t say they have been BFFs by the top. I can’t think about Hobbs goes to simply overlook about Shaw forcing him to fall out a window at first of Furious 7.
Moving into to Hobbs & Shaw, they nonetheless have a really biting chemistry, and they’re polar opposites of one another in each sense of the phrase: from the place they’re from, how they speak, what their likes are, what their philosophies are, what their elementary core values are. However but, they nonetheless have this magnetic attraction that occurs between them that the universe brings them collectively, definitely towards their will. And I assume a great way to explain it’s you’ve gotten two guys who don’t actually like one another, love to slap one another round, all the time assume that they’re proper, and will all the time have one another’s again — however they will by no means admit it.
I can’t inform you how excited I used to be when Idris Elba was forged because the dangerous man. What was it about Idris and his character, Brixton, that made him the right Hobbs & Shaw villain?
If in case you have Hobbs and Shaw, two beloved characters inside the Fast & Furious world, how can we create a villain who’s formidable, viable, higher, stronger, and extra diabolical? How can we create that? I really feel like we created that on the web page, however then who’s the actor who can truly deliver that weight? And I’ve recognized Idris for a while now, and we felt like he was the right man to return in and be our important villain.
Our aim with Idris to make him the baddest villain the franchise has ever seen. Coming in, he’s undefeated. And for a man who’s undefeated, three males enter and both one man leaves or two depart. And I say that respectfully as a result of there have been so many dangerous guys who we’ve had through the years. However Idris is the right man. Clearly, he’s an outstanding actor, actually brings an incredible weight and high quality to the position — and a viability. He’s an enormous man and he’s a respectable badass and a respectable martial artist. I’ll inform you this, the previous 10 days have been the finale; we’ve been capturing the large most important occasion between us and Brixton. We’ve been preventing and it’s been fairly badass and painful, however nice.
No franchise does stunts like Fast & Furious, so what sort of next-level issues can we anticipate? Do you go in considering you’ve prime what has beforehand been finished? You must be operating out of issues to do with automobiles!
We’ve carried out a lot within the Fast & Furious franchise when it comes to big-scale motion set items and battle sequences, the aim is all the time to greatest the final one. Nevertheless it’s arduous to say, “Oh, we’re going to best it,” as a result of it’s like saying in case you had youngsters, which one is your favourite? The primary factor that we will do and concentrate on is how can we evolve, how can we make it totally different, how can we make it cool, how can we make it badass and entertaining to the fans? So as an alternative of considering of regardless of the largest explosions are with the most important automobiles and let’s drop them from the moon, that is the place discovering the right director is available in with a really distinctive perspective and perspective, and somebody who understands not solely motion however understands stylistic motion combined in with story and character.
After which enters David Leitch. He simply did the brand new Deadpool and John Wick and Atomic Blonde, so you’ll be able to see the stylistic strategy that David has, and he actually simply stepped as much as the plate and took nice possession of this spin-off. Instantly, our objectives have been aligned. I met David virtually two years in the past and we have been sitting down and speaking about this and his objective was to evolve the franchise. Nonetheless have the spirit of Fast & Furious, however how can it’s totally different? And the way can we additionally make one thing for the fans stylistically that they’ve by no means seen, but in addition actually root it in character? He’s actually been delivering, and if his previous films are an instance of what he’s been doing, wait till you see this one. And we’re hopefully, fingers crossed, creating characters on this film the place they will all sooner or later sooner or later spin off. That’s the objective.
Clearly this movie is related to the franchise by the presence of you and Jason, however ought to we anticipate there to be different parts — or individuals — linking the movie to the higher Fast universe?
If the objective is to ship one thing that’s advanced, entertaining, and creates some “holy sh‑‑” moments, I feel we’ve delivered because it pertains to your query. Let me again up, as a result of I feel it’s an awesome query and such an necessary one. As excited as all of us are about capturing this franchise and creating one thing that’s superior for the fans, it was additionally crucial — not solely to me, however to Jason, David, the whole forged — that we nonetheless maintained the core values of what has made Fast & Furious such a beloved franchise. And people core values are a code of honor, a ride-or-die spirit, and above all else, household comes earlier than something. So I do assume we delivered on that. Once more, it was very, essential to us. As a result of that is now 4 Fast films that I’ve completed, so I perceive the facility of that, as a result of it’s ingrained in my DNA.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw opens Aug. 2.
To learn extra on 2019’s most anticipated TV exhibits and films, decide up the brand new situation of Leisure Weekly on stands Friday, or purchase it right here now. Don’t overlook to subscribe for extra unique interviews and pictures, solely in EW.
Associated content material: