The biggest trailer launch of the last week went to “F9: The Fast Saga,” the ninth film in the “Fast and Furious” franchise. As plot details had been under wraps at that point, the trailer ended up yielding two big surprises for fans.
The first is the return of Sung Kang’s Han Lue, the popular character who seemingly died at the hands of Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and so has sat out the previous two entries. How is Han alive? Director Justin Lin, who himself is also returning after sitting out the previous two entries, won’t reveal how but he tells EW that Han’s death didn’t sit right with him and so he opted to bring him back in a way that feels earned:
“In this world, I feel like things happen for a reason. I won’t go into details or anything, but I do think that bringing him back is nothing I take lightly – and it took a lot – but I think what I appreciate is that this universe has really grown and it allows us to evolve and really kind of redefine ourselves as we go.
With these sequels, sometimes people take it for granted and think it’s just going to happen; I always think we have to earn the next one. And so to be able to go through that journey with Han… when I left, I felt it was appropriate and I felt like we were putting the character to bed, but it’s because of some of the things that happened that didn’t quite make sense to me, and so I felt like if I was going to come back, I really wanted to explore why. I think it’s really up to us to bring him back and explore it throughout the themes that we’re all used to.”
Lin previously helmed the third through sixth films, all the movies to feature Han’s character in some major form. The other big trailer reveal is that John Cena’s character is Jakob Toretto, Dom’s brother. Lin says the main appeal of this idea was that in a franchise that is all about a family you make or collect along the way, this time they could explore the more traditional definition of family:
“I feel like our family is truly this earned relationship. But at the same time, it’s one thing we have not explored through bloodline. And Michael Rooker, who is in this movie, said it best when he came and we were talking about the film, he said some of the bloodiest fights he’s seen in his life were either at funerals or weddings. And that’s something that really excited me when the idea came to me, that we could really start this new chapter exploring family through the traditional bloodlines.
But then the next emotional beat for me was that I was kind of scared s—less of like, “Well, who is going to be a Toretto?!” And I was so relieved when I sat down with John, and within a minute of talking to him you could feel the strength and discipline, but also the fact that he could be vulnerable. He was just a pleasure to work with, and I really do think he’s going to bring a lot as the antagonist to Dom.”
So Cena’s character is the villain? Not so fast. Speak with ET Online, Cena says: “We’ll leave it for the Fast family around the world to decide who’s bad and who’s good. Keep in mind, the trailer shows just enough for you to have a ton of questions – and me not to be able to answer any of them.”
The comments come as Cena himself has received praise from his current director James Gunn for his work in “The Suicide Squad” which is now shooting. On his Instagram account, Gunn dubs Cena “one of the best overall talents” he’s worked with and “the BEST improvisational actor I’ve worked with by a country mile”.
“F9: The Fast Saga” is set to hit cinemas on May 22nd.