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Star and director talk about the return of Han to the Fast & Furious franchise and what comes next

February 20th, 2020 by Marc Comments

Fans of the Fast and Furious franchise have had a lot to take in since the trailer dropped recently (here) and then even more after the brief, but revealing Super Bowl spot (here), so let’s go through it all and take a look at the return of a franchise favourite, a new family member and will we finally see an event that ties into the very start of the Fast & Furious lore?

Ok, so the biggest reveal in the new trailer is that Han Lue (aka Han Seoul-Oh) is back and alive and well.

While Han has been in several movies in the franchise (and also the movie Better Luck Tomorrow), he died in Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift when, it was later revealed, he was killed by Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, however, in the last few movies in the franchise, with Shaw’s redemption seeing him being welcomed into the Fast Family, fans have been calling out for a Justice for Han campaign.

And now it looks like it may happen with the revelation that Han is still alive and may be looking to settle up with Shaw.

Now director Justin Lin has talked about his decision to bring Han back and what it might mean.

“Obviously, I have a very personal connection to the character,” Lin says, having created the character almost 20 years ago in 2002’s Better Luck Tomorrow.

“To be honest, when we first started, the community of Fast was not the community that it is today (Lin directed four movies in the series). I feel like, together, every kind of connection with the audience, we had to earn. 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.”

It seems that Lin really wants to look at Han’s story in the franchise and I can’t help feeling that this will include why exactly the man everyone thinks killed Han is now part of the Fast Family: “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,” Lin said.

“I think it’s really up to us to bring him back and explore it throughout the themes that we’re all used to.”

Of course, we also need to find out how exactly Han is still alive and what it means for the team moving forward: “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.”

But there’s no denying that Han’s return is due in no small part to the fans’ #JusticeForHan campaign and it’s something actor Sung Kang is well aware of and thankful for: “It’s emotional — it feels like I’m going back to a family reunion.

“It’s a relationship that has been missing in my life since the last Fast.

“At first it was easy to dismiss it [the online petition to get Han justice]. I wondered, does the audience really have a voice?”

But he’s well aware of the injustice of Statham’s character having to answer for his sin: “When Shaw came in and was revealed to be the killer and got invited into the family fold … that’s where you went, ‘Well, is this character being respected?'”

The events of the fast universe both on and off screen will have changed Han from the character we met in the past movies:“We know who and what Han is,” Kang says.

“And we’re older now. This Han is older. The things that we’ve learned as men in our personal lives, I hope it can transcend on-screen.”

Whatever happens, I can’t help feeling that Han and Shaw have a showdown coming…

But of course, Han isn’t the only big reveal in the trailer(s) as it seems that Dom (Diesel) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) have another family member who we haven’t met in previous movies…

Yes, John Cena’s Jakob is the brother they knew they had but just never mentioned and, while he’s a villain in this movie, he may have plans to become something of an ally next time out: “I would be grateful for a place at the table. I hope Fast 9 is a tremendous success, I hope we get to do it again, and by we I mean me,” Cena said.

“I’m not putting any spoilers out there, I’m just putting my thoughts out into the universe. Because if I put them out into the universe, maybe they will actually become reality. Maybe John Cena could be in Fast 10, maybe Justin could direct it, I don’t know!”

It certainly seems like he may know something we don’t (yet) and, let’s be honest, as discussed above, the franchise has previous form of bringing bad guys in from the cold.

He does, however, say that he’s not the movie’s villain, despite the trailers: “We’ll leave it for the audience, we’ll leave it for the Fast family around the world to decide who’s bad and who’s good,” Cena says.

“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!”

Diesel himself backed this up: “Like all the characters in this saga, they are multidimensional and there are no cookie-cutter characters. They all have layers, as we’ve seen… But we’re so excited about this!”

Speaking of revelations, one of the major shortcomings (in this particular fan’s eyes) is the lack of Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs character – he and Diesel have had a very public falling out but recently made up, confirming the star will return in the tenth movie as well as the sequel to his spin-off Hobbs & Shaw movie.

But, it seems that Cena – a WWE star like Johnson – has teased that the two may also have a history and may have to face-off at some point: “Well, I will say this, man, it’s amazing the parallels that Fast runs with WWE. In Fast, never say never.”

The duo have faced each other in the ring twice before, with one winning a bout each, so a showdown may be just around the corner… here’s hoping.

Going on about why exactly the franchise has become the worldwide hit it is, Cena had this to say: “So this is what I find brilliant about the Fast franchise, and this is truly a testament to the Fast family, the people around the world who love these movies. They walk in to see these movies with a sense of family, and a sense of fun [and] over the course of the eight instalments, soon to be nine, they’re superheroes without capes. But it’s okay, because we’ve slowly like worked into that. It started out with unbelievable car stunts and then unbelievable action stunts and then a combination of both and then what can you do next?”

“So because of the foundations and because you care about the characters, they’ve literally been able to create superheroes without costumes. That’s impossible, and now people expect it, so it’s cool. They’ve crafted their way into being a movie about this mythical stuff, but it’s still also very practical. They’re still real human beings interacting, they don’t need comic book folklore, which is not a bad thing I’m a fan of all that, I’m filming The Suicide Squad right now, so it’s not like that’s a negative. But to have the foresight to craft that and have the audience not only believe it but expect it, it’s so unique.”

It really sounds like he wants back for future instalments, doesn’t it? Hey, I’m an unashamed fan of this franchise, so I say bring it on… but my money is on him joining the side of the angels next time out.

Sources: EW, Comicbook and MTV

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….