You’ve just got to love the insane logic of the Fast & Furious franchise, with each new installment asking the audience to take a massive leap of faith in terms of stretching the limits of believability and credibility, which they’re clearly happy to do given that the last two entries in the long-running series comfortably sailed past the billion dollar mark at the box office.
After killing off Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty, she was brought back from the dead. How? Amnesia, of course. There’s a torpedo heading straight for the crew to send them to an explosive demise? No problem, we’ll have The Rock divert it off course with his bare hands. Han’s death was retconned to make Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw the culprit? It’s fine, he’s popular with fans so we’ll instantly welcome him into the family, turn him into a hero and give him a spinoff, no questions asked.
It’s that sort of sheer dumb fun that’s made the brand so popular, and the trend of incredulous developments is set to continue in Fast & Furious 9. John Cena stars as Jakob Toretto, Dom and Mia’s top secret brother that’s never been mentioned once in 20 years but is suddenly back in the picture and out for vengeance. Not only that, but he coincidentally happens to be a master thief, assassin and expert driver.
In a recent interview, Vin Diesel explained why he wanted Cena for the role, and there’s a lot more to it than him simply being another huge dude who who makes the jacked leading man look like a regular-sized person by comparison.
“The casting of that character could go a million different ways. And at the same time a very, very, very difficult character to cast. Because of that, you got to go with your gut, you got to go with your heart, and when I met John, he checked all the boxes. He had an energy that provoked a kind of curiosity about all of the Torettos. He just felt right. And he did a terrific job.”
In case you hadn’t noticed due to all the subtle references peppered throughout the saga, family is the recurring theme of Fast & Furious, and that instantly makes Cena’s Jakob the crew’s most dangerous foe yet.