Dwayne Johnson has indicated that he won’t be returning as Luke Hobbs in Fast & Furious 9 and the reasoning stems from multiple situations.
Dwayne Johnson won’t be returning as Luke Hobbs for Fast & Furious 9, and it comes down to two major reasons. The actor, who found fame as the professional wrestler known as “The Rock,” has appeared in the Fast & Furious franchise since 2011’s Fast Five. He and co-star Jason Statham recently headlined their own spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw. One more installment is expected to release after Fast & Furious 9 before the core films in the franchise wrap up.
When Luke Hobbs was introduced in Fast Five, he was an agent of the United States Diplomatic Security Service and a bounty hunter hired to take down Dom Torreto and his crew. After learning the truth about the murdered DEA agents, Hobbs joined forces with Dom. He continued being an ally, sometimes reluctantly, throughout Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7 when it came to facing the crime-ridden Shaw family. When Dom got involved with a cyber-terrorist in The Fate of the Furious, Hobbs came out of retirement to help his old friends.
Since Johnson is now a staple of the Fast & Furious franchise, his character was chosen to be the focus of a spinoff, along with Statham’s Deckard Shaw. Hobbs & Shaw followed the duo after they were hired by the CIA to capture a rogue MI6 agent who had stolen a lethal genetically engineered virus. The movie was praised by fans and scored a spot within the top ten box office performances of 2019. Despite the success, Johnson won’t be reprising his role for the next installment of the primary films. The future of Hobbs & Shaw has something to do with that, but so does his recent feud with Fast & Furious’ leading man, Vin Diesel.
How The Feud With Vin Diesel Could Have Affected Dwayne Johnson’s Role
Diesel, who has played Dominic Toretto since Fast & Furious kicked off in 2001, remains the driving force behind the franchise. Much of the decision-making regarding the films and the future of the franchise comes down to him. Ahead of the premiere of The Fate of the Furious in 2017, rumors about a feud between Johnson and Diesel started to circulate. Words were said and shady remarks were made publicized, and it was clear that the two actors weren’t seeing eye to eye with their roles in the franchise.
Diesel shared his support for the Hobbs & Shaw release and Johnson seemed to finally squash the feud last September. He took to social media to thank his Fast & Furious family, including Diesel, before ending the video with “I’ll be seeing you soon, Toretto.” This seems like a good sign for the return on Hobbs in the future, but it may have come too late for Johnson to be involved with Fast & Furious 9. Production for the film was well underway before Johnson put out the olive branch. In addition, co-star Tyrese Gibson has still had some choice words for Johnson, indicating that he might not be welcomed by all just yet.
Due to the rocky relationships with cast members, Johnson might be focusing on his solo future in the franchise with a sequel to Hobbs & Shaw. The success of the film and interest in the characters sounds like there’s a good chance for a Hobbs & Shaw 2 down the line. The actor has also been busy with his upcoming project, Jungle Cruise, which presumably hindered any opportunity to work on Fast & Furious 9. It seems likely that Johnson could appear in Fast & Furious 10 in some capacity but the future of Luke Hobbs seems brighter in the spinoff world of Fast & Furious.