Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson & Jason Statham Sitting Out ‘Fast & Furious 9’

The Fast & Furious franchise is still going strong eight movies later, despite losing one of its main characters after Paul Walker passed away in the middle of filming the seventh movie.

Now it’ll be losing another two characters in the ninth installment of the franchise. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has said that he and Jason Statham, who play Hobbs and Shaw in the movies, will not have time for the next film, given their commitment to a spin-off film in the franchise called Hobbs & Shaw, according to Vanity Fair.

“The plan has always been for the Fast & Furious universe to grow and expand,” Johnson said.

“As of now, we’re not in Fast 9 because they’re getting ready to start shooting.”

He did, however, leave the door open for their possible appearance in future Fast & Furious films should the franchise continue — which seems highly likely.

“But who knows with Fast 10 and down the road,” Johnson continued.

“You never know. Because look, at the end of the day, the truth is, there’s unfinished business between Hobbs and Dom. It’s unfinished.”

Johnson and Statham weren’t original characters in the franchise. Johnson joined in 2014 for Fast & Furious 6, while Statham only came in in 2017 for The Fate of the Furious.

It’s almost surprising that it’s taken so long for the majorly successful franchise to start producing spin-offs, but not as surprising that the spin-off came with The Rock, given the fact that he and series frontman Vin Diesel weren’t getting along.

“Vin and I had a few discussions, including an important face-to-face in my trailer,” Johnson said. “And what I came to realize is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating,” he added.

Instead, Hobbs & Shaw will see Johnson and Statham taking center stage this time, with the pair forming an alliance in their spin-off film. The former WWE star also hinted that the major action sequence in the film will be “an impressive showdown bigger than any Fast & Furious fans have seen before.”

Johnson recently shared a photo to his Instagram account of himself with some of his castmates who are playing his brothers: Josh Mauga, Fear the Walking Dead star Cliff Curtis, WWE wrestler Roman Reigns, and John Tui.

View this post on Instagram

A lil’ HOBBS & SHAW exclusive. THE HOBBS BROTHERS. In Samoa ???????? we have a word that means everything to us - AIGA - which means FAMILY. My name is Luke Hobbs and these are my four brothers. My family. My aiga. They all live in Western Samoa where they own and operate “Hobbs Customs” - a former illegal chop shop, now a legit business where they build and deliver vintage custom cars all over the world. In Samoa we have another saying which is “Ou te le tau to’atasi ae matou te tau fa’atasi” which means, When you fight one, you fight us ALL. Biggest showdown the Fast & Furious Universe has ever seen is coming this summer. HOBBS & SHAW AUGUST 2ND #JoshMauga #CliffCurtis #RomanReigns #JohnTui #BigBrownBaldTattooedMan @hhgarcia41 ????

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

The film is set to hit theaters in August this year, but Fast & Furious 9 is supposed to start production soon when Johnson and Statham will still be busy on Hobbs & Shaw.