It looked like the Fast and the Furious franchise had run out of gas ten years back. After first movie and its sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious did extremely well at the box office, the third entry, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, made a lot less money. It still did fine, but it took an overhaul to get the movies back on track.
Now we've had eight of these movies, and they seem to be making more and more as the years go on. The last two, Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious (the title conventions for this series are bonkers), earned nearly $3 billion together - not too shabby for a series that started with drag racing.
One of the key reasons that the recent movies have done so well is the introduction of Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. Johnson has become one of the most popular actors in the world, after leaving the wrestling industry to make movies full time. Now, he's managed to hit the number one spot as the world's highest-earning actors, believe it or not.
Despite being a key part of the last three Fast and Furious movies, the character's next adventure won't be in the main series - but in a spin-off, along with Jason Statham. In The Fate of the Furious, part of the movie saw Johnson's US diplomatic security agent reluctantly teaming up with the Stath's Deckard Shaw, who had previously been a villain in the franchise.
It ended up being the highlight of the movie, with the salt-and-pepper pairing slowly transitioning into vitriolic best buds, and now it looks like their angry bromance is getting its own movie: Hobbs and Shaw.
As you'd expect, The Rock is hard at work getting into shape for this latest movie, and it looks like he's pushing himself even further than before. The 46-year-old actor posted a photo of himself shirtless to Instagram yesterday, after 18 weeks of dieting and training for the upcoming movie. He looks incredible, but writes that there's "always room for improvement".
Dwayne also thanked his coach, loved ones, and fanbase for their support, writing:
"After 18 weeks of disciplined diet & intense training, here’s where I landed my carcass for shooting my FAST & FURIOUS spin-off HOBBS & SHAW. Always room for improvements, but not too bad for a scarred up surgically repaired Brahma Bull who’s injuries always tell the story.
"Huge THANKS to my strength and conditioning coach @daverienzi for his masterful strategies that’s constantly shifting daily based on how I’m looking/feeling to achieve our goals.
"THANKS to EVERYONE in my inner circle (including the NASA scientists ?) who support the big picture - my diet, training, health & wellness, balance, consistency and execution.
"Finally, THANKS TO ALL THE FANS. My people out there worldwide ? who buy into our grind belief and my philosophy that payin’ our dues is owed on a daily basis.
"Thanks for rockin’ with me — let’s have some fun and take this HOBBS & SHAW franchise to the next level."
Honestly, I can't see how there's room for improvements here, but as long as he keeps on rockin', his fans will be more than happy.