12:30 pm EDT, April 15, 2018

David Leitch tapped to direct Fast and Furious spinoff

A Fast and Furious spinoff is in the works at Universal Pictures, focused on Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). Now, David Leitch has been tapped to direct.

Leitch, who directed the upcoming Deadpool 2, as well as Atomic Blonde, has officially sign on to the project, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The movie is rumored to be called Hobbs and Shaw, and is slated to be released on July 26, 2019.

The spinoff to Universal Pictures’ juggernaut franchise was first suggested to be in development — albeit early stages — back when Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson were reported to still be feuding.

In a report from The Wrap, Vin Diesel had allegedly forced a scene featuring the two character to be cut.

The scene — described as a short “tag” to the story — featured The Rock’s character, Luke Hobbs, and Statham‘s character, Deckard, who develop a rapport over the course of the film.

“They had early screenings where Johnson and Statham popped so much on-screen together that they were looking at doing a spinoff,” one insider said.

The tag would have kept their banter going — but Diesel intervened, according to people close to the production.

Despite the cut, the spinoff is officially going ahead. With the release date in the near-future, it should be expected that the next entry in the Fast and Furious franchise will enter production soon.

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