Idris Elba is coming to the “Fast and Furious” universe, and I’m genuinely excited.
This series of movies is ostensibly about dumb car stunts and beer product placement, but has ended up pulling in more than a few respectable, talented actors over the course of time.
And also, Luke Evans is in one of these (sorry, Luke).
Elba feels like a prime choice for inclusion as a villain – he certainly fits the established mold, as a classy British actor who is also capable of impressive on-screen tantrums and fistfights.
If anything, he feels like a good replacement for Jason Statham, whose villainous character has now been promoted to fully-fledged antihero.
As such, it’s fitting that Elba is sliding into a role in the spin-off movie that will center on Statham’s character, and Dwayne Johnson’s more traditionally heroic Hobbs.
I’m a fan of the idea of a Hobbs and Shaw spin-off. The movie feels like an attempt to shed some of the baggage that’s been collected by the series over the course of its very long lifespan.
The “Fast and Furious” universe has a lot of characters. Some are more useful to the plot than others, and some simply show up in every instalment out of some misguided sense of tradition.
I’m eager for a leaner, pared down film that can focus more closely on some characters that haven’t always got the screen time they deserve.
Certainly, it’ll be nice to see the giant muscular bald man Dwayne Johnson in the lead instead of the (slightly less) giant muscular bald man Vin Diesel.
The pair have long been interchangeable in many Hollywood roles, like a modern day Stallone and Schwarzenegger, but it’s very clear which of the pair is more talented as an actor.
Every time Diesel and Johnson share the screen, poor Vin ends up looking as wooden as his MCU character next to the far more emotive Rock.
Expanding Without Bloating
Leaving Dominic Toretto behind and instead throwing the attention on Hobbs feels smart, and in a movie focused on Johnson’s character, I feel like Idris Elba is perfect to play his evil counterpart.
Elba is smart, tough, and commanding on-screen. He’ll be able to hold his own against the charisma machine that is Dwayne Johnson, and he’s also got what it takes to feel imposing against an angry, shouty Jason Statham.
This could very easily end up being the best of the “Fast and Furious” movies. I’m interested to see what happens next.