**Warning: Contains spoilers for Fast & Furious 9**
Fast and the Furious 9 is on course to break the pandemic-era box office record in the US after a huge opening this weekend.
The ninth installment on the record-breaking franchise arrived at cinemas worldwide this week, launching in the UK on Thursday, June 24 the, and in America the following day. The action film, starring Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, made $30 million from over 4,000 cinemas on Friday alone, Variety reports. If sales to continue to progress at a similar rate over the weekend, it's predicted to break the pandemic-era box office record held by A Quiet Place Part II.
The film declined to move to streaming platforms, in part to make sure fans could experience the spectacular action sequences as they had been intended for the big screen.
Actor Tyrese Gibson, who returns to the franchise, told the BBC: "We're heavily relying on the fans and supporters to be able to help us make the statement we all want to make, which is, yes it's very easy to go straight to streaming, but there are certain movies that really belong in theatres, and this is one of them."
Diesel recently revealed that he'd love to adapt the franchise into a musical. While appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Clarkson asked him: "What about doing a full-on Fast & Furious musical?"
The actor replied: "I'm dying to do a musical,” elaborating, “I’ve been dying to do a musical my whole life! I was this close to doing Guys & Dolls with Steven Spielberg, and we ended up not doing that. But I’m dying to do a musical."
Meanwhile, the release of 2019 spin-off movie Hobbs & Shaw marked a fork in the road for the Fast & Furious franchise, with two stars of the Fast saga – Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw – breaking away from the core series for a wild adventure involving a devastating virus and genetically-enhanced super-humans.
Neither Johnson or Statham were announced as being part of the cast of Fast & Furious 9, the first entry in the main F&F series since the spin-off, suggesting that perhaps we'd only see their characters again in a potential Hobbs & Shaw sequel. But speaking to Deadline in April 2021, F9 director Justin Lin refused to rule out a return for the burly duo, explaining that he "never really considered them gone" from the franchise.
"To me, they’re still in this universe; they’re part of this family," Lin insisted. "Whatever we do, whenever we’re talking about the next chapter, I never feel like I have any restrictions, so I’m excited for what we build, and as we’re coming to this kind of final chapter of this saga, I think I’m excited to revisit…
"Any character, in any situation, is up for discussion."
He wasn't just being diplomatic, either – because one of the pair does in fact make a surprise, unadvertised appearance in Fast 9's post-credits scene. Read on for all the details.
Fast & Furious 9 post-credits scene explained
As part of a madcap caper which involves long-list siblings, killer satellites and magnet planes, Fast & Furious 9 resurrects a fan favourite character – street racer Han (Sung Kang), who'd been part of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel)'s crew until he apparently met an explosive demise.
More like this
Han's supposed death was first depicted in 2006's The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, with the following three films in the series flashing back to establish his earlier relationship with Dom. 2013's Fast & Furious 6 finally brought us up to speed, revisiting the car crash which apparently claimed Han's life – and revealing that it was in fact Statham's character Deckard Shaw who was responsible, acting to avenge his brother Owen (Luke Evans) who had recently gone up against Dom, Han and the gang.
The latest film in the series reveals that Han actually survived the crash – you can read more about how Han is alive in Fast 9 elsewhere on RadioTimes.com, but it involves Kurt Russell's intelligence operative Mr. Nobody faking Han's demise so that the racer could become a spy in his employ (No, really).
The world was fooled for years into believing that Han was dead – including Deckard Shaw, who thought he'd killed Han and later came to regret his rash actions, reaching something of a truce with Dom after rescuing his son from the psychopathic hacker Cipher (Charlize Theron) in 2017's The Fate of the Furious.
Deckard doesn't feature in F9's main narrative, his appearance instead coming as part of a mid-credits sting. The ex-MI6 officer is seen pummelling a punch bag which, it's revealed, contains Shaw's latest unfortunate quarry – he's not actually trying to get any information out of him, though, just having a bit of fun beating on the poor fellow.
He's interrupted by a knock at the door and is stunned to see Han, the man he believed he'd killed, stood in front of him.
- For the latest news and expert tips on getting the best deals this year, take a look at our Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday 2021 guides.
The next Fast & Furious movie will, presumably, explore what happens next – sure, Han survived Shaw's attempt on his life, but he must still be pretty peeved at the man who at least tried to murder him. And how will Shaw, who now regrets 'killing' Han, react now that he knows his planned hit was unsuccessful? (If you want to know more about the next instalment in the franchise, we've got a whole page dedicated to Fast & Furious 10 rumours, news and production announcements.)
The impetus for the post-credits scene came from Fast 9 director Lin – who took a break from the franchise and didn't direct either 2015's Furious 7 or 2017's The Fate of the Furious – being "baffled" when he discovered that in his absence Shaw, Han's purported killer, had been rehabilitated and welcomed into the Fast Family.
"The treatment of the character was not right," the director told Total Film. "Justice for Han is not something you serve as just by bringing him back for one film, it's how we treat Han and all our characters from this point on out. And so, it just felt very organic that, with the real estate that we had, at some point, I do want to see him face to face with Shaw."
Lin, of course, was responsible for originally bringing Jason Statham into the Fast fold in Fast 6's mid-credits scene. "It was a great call with Jason [asking him back for Fast 9]," Lin said. "He's like, 'Hey man, you called me the last time to do the tag. I did it and you left. This time, you're not gonna leave? Right?' It was a great moment of connection for me."
Fingers crossed Deckard plays a larger role in Fast & Furious 10.
Is Dwayne Johnson in Fast & Furious 9?
Though we do check in on Deckard Shaw in this brief sequence, there's no sign of his old sparring partner Hobbs in Fast 9 – perhaps not a huge surprise given reports of disagreements between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson on the set of The Fate of the Furious.
Oddly, Hobbs isn't even mentioned in the latest Fast movie – so our latest sighting of him remains in the Hobbs & Shaw spin-off, which concluded with the former federal agent rediscovering his roots and taking his daughter Sam (Eliana Su'a) to visit his family in Samoa. Maybe he's still enjoying some much-deserved relaxation time during the events of Fast 9, explaining why he didn't intervene to stop Jakob Toretto's scheme?
Again, here's hoping that Hobbs returns to the franchise fold – with the saga set to conclude after two more films, we want the whole family back together for a Fast finale.
Fast & Furious 9 is out now in cinemas – find out how to rewatch all the Fast & Furious movies in order, read our Fast & Furious 9 review, visit our Movies hub for the latest news and features, or find something to watch tonight with our TV Guide.