Last month, it was announced that the main Fast and Furious film series will be chugging along a quarter mile at a time for a little longer.
Rather than wrap things up with Fast & Furious 10 as originally planned, an eleventh movie will follow. For Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, who’s starred as Tej Parker in what’s soon to be six of the car-centric franchise’s entries, he’s not sad about the film series ending, but thankful for getting to spend a little extra time in this world.
While chatting it up recently with guest host Tiffany Haddish on Ellen, Ludacris summarized his feelings about the main Fast & Furious saga ending in the coming years thusly:
They just announced that we’re going to end on 10 and 11. Personally I thought we were going to end on 10 but I’m not at all sad about it because you got to think about, I came out in 2 Fast 2 Furious. We never knew we would get a callback from 5, now I’ve been in 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. And now they’re telling me there’s going to be two more? I’m happy! To hell with being sad, don’t be sad! Be happy.
He has a point. Now, rather than just two movies being left, there are three to look forward to, i.e. one more opportunity for Dominic Toretto and his team to save the world. And while Ludacris has numerous other acting credits on his acting resume, the Fast & Furious franchise is still arguably what he’s best known for in the film realm. So rather than look at this news through a negative filter, he’s enthusiastic about this particular professional journey lasting longer than expected.
As Ludacris noted, while he made his Fast & Furious debut in 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, it wasn’t until 2011’s Fast Five that he became a regular player in the franchise, with Tej Parker filling the role of mechanic and tech guy. Assuming Tej isn’t killed off in F9 or Fast & Furious 10, he’ll have participated in seven Fast & Furious movies total, which is nothing to scoff at. And of course, extra time with Tej means more opportunities to watch him mess with Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce, the team’s resident joker.
Originally we were supposed to reunite Dom, Tej and the other main protagonists in F9 back in April, but the health crisis led to the movie being to next year. The F9 trailer revealed that Tej and Roman will cross paths with Lucas Black’s Sean Boswell and Jason Tobin’s Earl Hu, both of whom debuted in 2006’s The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift (Lucas later cameoed in Furious 7), although Tej clearly wasn’t impressed with how Earl attached a rocket engine to a Pontiac Fiero.
The main F9 story will see the team clashing with John Cena’s Jakob Toretto, Dom and Mia’s estranged brother who is a master thief, assassin and high-performance driver, and has has allied himself with Charlize Theron’s Cipher, the main antagonist from The Fate of the Furious. The first F9 trailer also revealed that Sung Kang’s Han Lue, who was thought to have been killed in Tokyo Drift, is still alive and being brought back into play. Behind the cameras, Daniel Casey wrote the F9 script, and this marked Justin Lin’s fifth time directing a Fast & Furious movie. Lin is also expected to helm Fast & Furious 10 and 11.
F9 races into theaters on May 28, 2021.