In 2015’s Fast & Furious 7, something unexpected happened. Having left its street racing DNA behind, the jawbreaking action franchise had evolved into something more. Part of the evolution was inspired by the chemistry between its two adversaries, CSS agent Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham. By the time they clashed again in 2017’s Fate of the Furious, Johnson and Statham knew there was a special chemistry between them that should be exploited on screen. So, in the first spin-off from the Fast & Furious franchise, Hobbs and Shaw are forced to join forces when a Cybernetically enhanced soldier named Brixton Lorr, played by Idris Elba, abducts Shaw’s sister and plans to change humanity forever.
Here are five reasons why we’re excited for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
Hobbs & Shaw are the “best of frenemies.”
“It was on the set of Fast 8 that a unique chemistry began to build between myself and Jason,” says The Rock. “Even though they hate each other and at each other’s throats, there is a common respect between the two.”
“Hobbs and Shaw want to kill each other,” adds Statham. “This time they have to come together as a team of two. We’re different, yes we’re so similar.”
“The chemistry between Dwayne and Jason is pretty special,” says director David Leitch. “And it’s hard to find that. To have the opportunity to take these guys and build a world around that chemistry was really exciting to me.”
Idris Elba is the ultimate villain.
Brixton Lorr is a super soldier infamously called Black Superman. “It’s a gift of a role because the role has an imaginative spirit to me,” says Elba. “He’s part human, part robot, all ego. He has a cause that he’s going for and he won’t stop to get it. And there’s a little bit of charm and charisma around him as well." As for that “Black Superman” line…
“So Chris [Morgan] had written this really great speech about why Brixton is doing what he was doing. He believes in a cause and saving humanity from itself and he is the evolution of man,” explains Elba. “And in one of the takes it just came out of my mouth.”
Fast cars and big boy toys
Brixton’s motorcycle is a damn Transformer. “The Brixton Bike is a bit like Knight Rider and Kitt, a man and horse scenario,” says Idris. “The bike had certain characteristics, but as David and I started to flesh out the abilities of this soldier, it started to take on a life of its own. I really thought I’d be driving cars, but instead I’m riding one of the baddest bikes in the world." Elba owns three bikes of his own.
The fights are sure to be epic.
“It’s my most passionate elements of making an action movie is to rehearse with the stunt guys and put this action on camera in a very confined space. There’s no CGI or green screen. It’s the way I like making movies,” says Statham. “We created action sequences in his gym in L.A. When we’re making these movies we have a great shorthand. We know our skill set and we know what works… there’s no fat on the bone. The apartment fight, we shot that in two days. We’re very efficient.”
The clash of cultures
There is a huge showdown on the island of Samoa, and The Rock couldn’t wait to put his Polynesian roots on the big screen. “I’m half Black and half Samoan. I’m very proud of who I am, what I am and the cultures that I come from. And having this opportunity to showcase my culture in a global event movie, was very special to me, my family and Polynesians around the world.”
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is in theaters August 2.