“F9” will have to wait a little longer to take a lap in theaters. Universal announced Friday that it has pushed back the debut of the next “Fast and Furious” sequel. It will now hit theaters over Memorial Day weekend on May 28, 2021.
The news comes hours after “No Time to Die” delayed its release from November to April 2, 2021 — which was the original date for “F9.” Universal, the studio behind the high-octane franchise, is distributing the Bond film internationally.
In March, as cases of coronavirus started to spread, Universal made the bold decision to push back the release of “F9” by an entire year. “Fast and Furious” is a hugely important franchise for Universal; its numerous sequels and spinoffs are routinely among the highest grossing movies of the year and have collected over $5 billion combined at the global box office. The “Fast” entries routinely carry budgets over $200 million and are engineered to appeal to international moviegoers. Nearly 75% of ticket sales of the three previous films in the franchise came from the international box office. Since Bond was moved to the same weekend and also caters to overseas audiences, moving “F9” was inevitable.
Directed by franchise vet Justin Lin, “F9” picks up after the events of 2017’s “The Fate of the Furious.” The film sees Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto face his younger brother Jakob (John Cena), a deadly assassin working with old foe Cipher (Charlize Theron). The cast also includes Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, Tyrese Gibson, Helen Mirren and Ludacris. “The Fate of the Furious” was a huge box office winner, becoming the second installment in the series to hit the coveted $1 billion mark.