Hobbs & Shaw

Hobbs & Shaw
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Leitch
Screenplay by
Story byChris Morgan
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyJonathan Sela
Edited by
Music byTyler Bates
Production
companies
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • July 13, 2019 (2019-07-13) (Dolby Theatre)
  • August 2, 2019 (2019-08-02) (United States)
Running time137 minutes
Countries
  • Japan
  • United States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$200 million
Box office$760.7 million

Hobbs & Shaw (also known as Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw) is a 2019 buddy action comedy film directed by David Leitch from a script by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce. It is the first spin-off film and the overall ninth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, set after the events of The Fate of the Furious (2017). It stars Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Eiza González, Cliff Curtis and Helen Mirren. In the film, Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham) joins Deckard's sister Hattie Shaw (Kirby) to take down Brixton Lore (Elba), a cybernetically enhanced terrorist, who is threatening the world with a deadly virus.

Series star and producer Vin Diesel first said in 2015 that possible spin-offs were in early development, and Hobbs & Shaw was officially announced in October 2017. Leitch signed on to direct in April 2018, and Kirby and Elba both joined the cast that July. Principal photography began that September and lasted through January 2019, with filming locations including London, Glasgow, and Kaua'i. The film was subject to controversy after longterm Fast & Furious producer Neal H. Moritz filed a lawsuit against Universal Pictures for breach of oral contract and committing promissory fraud related to his role on Hobbs & Shaw, which was eventually settled in September 2020.

Hobbs & Shaw premiered at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on July 13, 2019, was theatrically released in the United States on August 2, 2019, by Universal Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the chemistry between Johnson and Statham, but found it underwhelming when compared to other Fast & Furious films. It grossed $760 million worldwide.

Plot

In London, Hattie Shaw, an MI6 agent, and her team attempt to retrieve "Snowflake", a programmable supervirus, from Eteon, a techno-terrorist organization. The team secures Snowflake, but is attacked by Brixton Lore, an ex-MI6 agent and Eteon operative with cybernetic implants that allow him to perform superhuman feats. Brixton kills all the agents except Hattie, who injects herself with the only dose of Snowflake before escaping. Brixton frames Hattie for killing her team and stealing Snowflake, forcing her to go on the run. Luke Hobbs, an ex-DSS agent and Deckard Shaw, an ex-MI6 agent, are informed of the missing virus and reluctantly work together to track it down. After a brief meeting at a CIA black site at the Leadenhall Building, Deckard goes to Hattie's apartment for information, only to get attacked by Eteon operatives.

Meanwhile, Luke manages to find Hattie and after a brief scuffle, Luke brings her to the CIA office. As Deckard arrives and informs Luke that Hattie is his sister, the office is attacked by the Eteon forces. Hattie is taken by Brixton, whom Deckard recognizes as an old colleague-turned-enemy he believes killed by him. Luke and Deckard pursue and rescue Hattie, where they evade Brixton during an ensuing car chase. However, Brixton frames all three as criminals via Eteon's control of global news media. The three locate Prof. Andreiko, Snowflake's creator, and they learn that he purposed it to efficiently deliver vaccines, and to prevent Eteon from using it to eradicate humanity, Hattie, while the virus is still dormant, must either be cremated or have the virus removed with a specialized extraction device, which is located in Eteon's special facility in Chernobyl.

Although Luke was briefly detained due to Deckard making his fake alias "Mike Oxmaul," the three manage to travel to Moscow. After rendezvousing with Deckard's former flame Margarita to rearm in Moscow, the three infiltrate the facility. They retrieve the device before escaping in a truck during the facility's destruction, though Andreiko is killed by Brixton and the device is damaged. Luke takes Deckard and Hattie to his childhood home in Samoa to visit his estranged brother Jonah, a talented mechanic, to repair the device and lay low before confronting Brixton's forces again. Luke has a tense reunion with his family, who he has not communicated with since he turned his criminal father in to the authorities prior. Despite Jonah's objections, their mother convinces him to help repair the device and oppose Eteon's incoming forces.

The makeshift battalion prepares for Eteon's arrival, disabling the weapons used by Eteon's team by temporarily shutting down their authorization code and setting up a variety of traps around the island. Jonah successfully repairs the device and starts the virus extraction just as Brixton and his army arrive. In the ensuing battle, the Samoans engage and easily overpower Brixton's reinforcements, while suffering minimal casualties. Brixton recaptures Hattie with a helicopter. However, Luke, Deckard and the Samoans bring the aircraft down with several custom trucks. Working together, Luke and Deckard alternate their attacks to defeat Brixton, who is remotely terminated afterward by Eteon's unseen director. The director sends a message claiming to know about Luke and intending to persuade him and the Shaw siblings, while they promise to find the director; the group then celebrates their victory.

In post-credits scenes, Luke brings his daughter to meet their extended family in Samoa. Deckard and Hattie are implied to bust their mother out of prison; and Luke receives a call from his partner Locke, who has broken into a laboratory and discovered a more threatening virus. Luke also secretly has the London police set on Deckard in retaliation for the "Mike Oxmaul" prank, having told the police that Deckard's name is "Hugh Janus".

Cast

In addition, Lori Pelenise Tuisano portrays Sefina Hobbs, the mother of Luke Hobbs and matriarch of the Hobbs family. Rob Delaney appears as CIA agent Loeb while the film's director David Leitch makes a cameo appearance as an Eteon helicopter pilot. Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart make uncredited cameo appearances as CIA agent Victor Locke and Air Marshal Dinkley, respectively. The Eteon Director, a role Keanu Reeves was in negotiations for, does not physically appear in the film, but is also voiced by Reynolds in a dual role, under the pseudonym "Champ Nightingale".

Production

Development

In November 2015, Vin Diesel announced in an interview with Variety that potential spin-offs for the Fast & Furious series were in the early stages of development. In October 2017, Universal Pictures announced a spin-off film centered around characters Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, and set a release date of July 26, 2019, with Chris Morgan returning to write the script. Variety reported that Shane Black was being considered to direct the film. In February 2018, Deadpool 2 director David Leitch entered talks to direct the film. In April 2018, Leitch was confirmed as the director for the film and added David Scheunemann as a production designer.

Casting

In July 2018, Vanessa Kirby was cast in the film to play an MI6 agent and Shaw's sister, along with Idris Elba as the main villain in the film. In October 2018, Eddie Marsan joined the cast of the film, and in November 2018, Eiza González was added as well. In January 2019, Johnson revealed that his cousin and professional wrestler Roman Reigns would appear in the film as Hobbs's brother. Additionally, he announced that Cliff Curtis, Josh Mauga, and John Tui would portray other brothers of Hobbs. Helen Mirren was also confirmed to be reprising her role from The Fate of the Furious.

Filming

Principal photography began on September 10, 2018, in London, England. Dwayne Johnson joined the production two weeks later, on September 24, 2018, after he had wrapped filming Jungle Cruise. Most filming was done at Shepperton Studios and Leavesden Studios. In October, filming moved to Glasgow, Scotland, to recreate London. Filming also took place in late 2018 at Eggborough power station in North Yorkshire, and in Farnborough, Hampshire. The Hawaiian island of Kaua'i was used as a stand-in for Samoa for the film's third act. Cinematographer Jonathan Sela shot the film with Arri Alexa SXT and Alexa Mini digital cameras and Hawk Class-X anamorphic lenses. Production officially wrapped on January 27, 2019. Scroggins Aviation Mockup & Effects was hired to supply a UH-60 Black Hawk (s/n 79-23354) in the film. Scroggins made modification to the UH-60 and worked with the art department to supply it with a digital cockpit panel.

Post-production

The visual effects were provided by DNEG, Cantina Creative, The Third Floor, RISE FX and Framestore, supervised by Mike Brazelton and Kyle McCulloch, and produced by Dan Glass. DNEG is the main vendor for this project, with a total VFX shots of around 1,000. They worked on the big action sequences in London, Chernobyl and a part of the climatic Samoan chase. The London chase sequence consists of blue screen environments and car interiors, with CGI reflections on the McLaren exterior. There are few head replacements and full CGI character doubles. For the latter, they were created and animated from reference photography of the main actors. The same method was applied for the McLaren and the Brixton bikes. Idris Elba was enhanced to give him super-human abilities. Motion graphics were used to make a sort of heads up display of data and stats called the Brixton vision, to help him in the fights. For the Chernobyl action sequence, the environments were made from Lidar scanning, texture reference of a decommissioned coal power plant used for the production shootings. Then, they extended parts of the facility and modified weather conditions. Drones were fully created and animated. Explosions were created too. Finally, they handled the Samoa chopper destruction.

Framestore handled 264 VFX shots for the project, mostly the 3rd-act chase sequence. They photographed the Nā Pali Coast on the North Side of Kauai, Hawaii before and during the main shoot. Then, they used their photography to be photo scanned and transferred into a CGI version of the coastline. They had to fit the CGI environment to the shoot location. They also created CGI cliffs, CGI foliage and some scattered rocks on flatter areas or ledges. Finally for the creation of the environments, they used many reference plate shots for the blue screens. They also photographed, photo scanned, modeled and animated all the vehicles portrayed in that sequence, including the Peterbilt, the M37, the Ratrod and the Black Hawk. The latter was cyber scanned by ClearAngle. They adapted the CGI vehicles with the environment, including the lighting, tillable textures and painting scratches. Finally, they enhanced the explosions and car crashes with some debris, fire elements and craters.

Music

In May 2019, Film Music Reporter announced that Tyler Bates would compose the film's score. The first single of the soundtrack is "Getting Started" written by Kyle Williams aka producer Willyecho (created through the series Songland for Aloe Blacc), and performed by American singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc and rapper JID. Idris Elba himself has produced a track featuring Cypress Hill's B-Real titled "Even If I Die"; the Hybrid remix of the track appears both in the film and during the end credits. The film's soundtrack also features numerous artists including Logic, Yungblud, A$ton Wyld, Ohana Bam, and The Heavy.

Marketing

The first poster was released on January 31, 2019. The first trailer was released on February 1, 2019, and a TV spot was aired during Super Bowl LIII, on February 3, 2019. A second trailer was released on April 18, 2019. The final trailer was released on June 28, 2019.

Release

Theatrical

The film had its premiere at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California on July 13, 2019. The film was theatrically released in the United States on August 2, 2019, after being moved from its previous date of July 26, 2019. The film began international rollout on July 31, 2019, and was released in China on August 23, 2019. The release is in 2D, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX. A RealD 3D conversion for the film was originally planned to release but was later cancelled. However, the planned conversion was done by Stereo D.

Lawsuit

In October 2018, Fast & Furious producer Neal H. Moritz filed a lawsuit against Universal Pictures for breach of oral contract and committing promissory fraud, after the distributor removed him as lead producer on Hobbs & Shaw. In May 2019, it was revealed that Universal had dropped Moritz from all future Fast & Furious installments. His lawsuit was settled in September 2020, and Moritz would later return to the series with F9.

Home media

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw was released on Digital HD on October 15, 2019, and on DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Blu-ray on November 5, 2019, by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Reception

Box office

Hobbs & Shaw grossed $174 million in the United States and Canada, and $586 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $760 million. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $84 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.

In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross $60–65 million from 4,253 theaters in its opening weekend, while some insiders predicted it could exceed $70 million. The film made $23.7 million on its first day, including $5.8 million from Thursday night previews, the highest amount for both Johnson and Statham outside the main Fast & Furious series. It went on to debut to $60 million over the weekend, finishing first at the box office. Similar to the main Fast & Furious films, Hobbs & Shaw had a diverse audience, with audience demographics being 40% Caucasian, 27% Hispanic, 20% African American and 13% Asian. The film dropped 58% in its second weekend to $25.3 million, remaining in first, before another Universal film Good Boys replaced it in the third week.

In other territories, the film was projected to open to around $125 million from 54 countries, for a worldwide debut of $195 million. The film made $24.9 million from its first two days of international release. In its Chinese opening weekend the film made $102 million, grossing below projections but nevertheless being the second highest-grossing weekend of 2019 behind Avengers: Endgame.

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 68% based on 348 reviews and an average rating of 6.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Hobbs & Shaw doesn't rev as high as the franchise's best installments, but gets decent mileage out of its well-matched stars and over-the-top action sequences." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 60 out of 100, based on 54 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average four out of five stars.

Writing for Variety, Peter Debruge wrote, "Fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham milk the friction between their characters while teaming up to save the world in this gratuitously over-the-top spinoff." Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film a "B−" and stated, "Strip away the meandering exposition and Hobbs & Shaw is an old-school screwball comedy that just happens to feature two major action stars." Conversely, the Chicago Sun-Times's Richard Roeper gave the film 1.5 out of 4 stars, writing, "In case of bad-movie emergency, break glass. Over the two-hour-plus running time of the painfully long, exceedingly tedious, consistently unimaginative and quite dopey Hobbs & Shaw, I counted some 13 instances in which humans and/or vehicles went crashing through panes of glass."

Accolades

Award Category Recipient Result
Golden Trailer Awards Best Summer Blockbuster Nominated
Best Action TV Spot Nominated
Best Summer Blockbuster Poster Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Action Movie of 2019 Nominated
Favorite Male Movie Star of 2019 Dwayne Johnson Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor Dwayne Johnson (also for Jumanji: The Next Level) Won
Saturn Awards Best Action or Adventure Film Nominated

Sequel

In November 2019, producer Hiram Garcia confirmed that all creatives involved have intentions in developing a sequel, with conversations regarding the project ongoing. By March 2020, Johnson confirmed that a sequel was officially in development, while the creative team was not yet decided. Garcia confirmed the project was in active development a month later, citing the box office performance of Hobbs & Shaw, and announced Morgan would return to write. Johnson expressed excitement for the sequel that same month, stating that it will introduce new characters.

In November 2021, Johnson revealed that he had developed an original idea for the sequel, which he described as "the antithesis of Fast & Furious" and that he presented the concept to Universal Pictures chairwoman Donna Langley, as well as Garcia and Morgan. He elaborated the sequel would take immediate precedence over the rest of his film-slate, and further teased its development will progress after he completes the holiday-action film Red One (2024). Later that month, Garcia confirmed that work on the screenplay is ongoing, calling the film "very ambitious". In December 2022, Universal Pictures producer Kelly McCormick stated the film's production has been stalled.

In June 2023, Johnson announced plans for a direct sequel were postponed, and that a standalone sequel serving as a direct continuation to Fast X (2023) that would bridge into the eleventh main film was in development. The title was announced as Hobbs & Reyes, with Johnson and Jason Momoa set to star. Morgan is set to return to write the film, with Garcia, Johnson, Dany Garcia, Vin Diesel, Samantha Vincent, Jeff Kirschenbaum, and Neal H. Moritz set to produce.

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