Idris Elba in Final Negotiations to Play Villain in ‘Fast and Furious’ Spinoff ‘Hobbs and Shaw’

If you weren’t excited about a Fast and Furious spinoff film about Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw teaming up, now would be the time to change that tune.

According to Variety, Idris Elba is in final negotiations to play the main villain in the spinoff film Hobbs and Shaw. Insiders say he will be the threat that causes Hobbs to unwillingly team up with Deckard. The film also has Vanessa Kirby on board as Shaw’s MI5 sister.

Deadpool 2 director David Leitch has signed on to helm the feature and franchise architect Chris Morgan penned the script, with production set to commence this fall.

Original Film’s Neal H. Moritz will produce alongside Johnson and his Seven Bucks Productions partners, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia, Statham, and Chris Morgan for his eponymous production company. Kelly McCormick, Steve Chasman, Amanda Lewis, Ainsley Davies, and Ethan Smith will executive produce.

Exec VP of production Mark Sourian and VP of Production Jay Polidoro will oversee the project at Universal.

Since his arrival in the franchise’s fifth installment, Universal has tried to find a way to spin off Johnson’s Hobbs character, given his popularity with fans. Statham joined the series in the seventh movie, and considering the chemistry between the two actors in 2017’s The Fate of the Furious (arguably the biggest positive from that film), Universal took action on plans to develop a spinoff.

Elba’s no stranger to playing the baddie in popular blockbusters. He previously appeared as the villain in Star Trek Beyond, in addition to voicing the famous Shere Khan in Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book.

Hobbs and Shaw hits theaters on July 26, 2019.

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