The Fast and Furious franchise is bigger than ever seven films into its series, with Furious 7 now standing at #4 on the all-time box office chart with a global gross of $1.5 billion. Universal Pictures was always going to make Fast and Furious 8, and indeed the film is already slated for release on April 14, 2017 and Vin Diesel has been teasing a location shift to New York City for this eighth installment. But what’s up in the air at this point is which characters will be involved. Dwayne Johnson is returning and the central “family” will likely remain intact—though sadly without Paul Walker—but what of the villains?
Jason Statham made his first appearance at the end of Fast & Furious 6 to tease his larger role in Furious 7 as the brother of Luke Evans’ FF6 villain. He and Vin Diesel/Dwayne Johnson went toe-to-toe over the course of this year’s film, but of course in the end, Good triumphed over Evil. But that doesn’t mean Statham is out of the franchise.
Speaking with Access Hollywood recently, Statham revealed that his character of Deckard Shaw will indeed be returning for Furious 8:
“We’re already talking about doing another one, Part 8. I’m a newcomer, I just got invited to the party in this last one, so it’s nice to know I’m going to be doing another.”
We know that the original third act of Furious 7 was intended to set up Kurt Russell’s enigmatic covert ops leader for Furious 8, but after the passing of Walker the film was retooled as tribute to the late actor. We can still reasonably expect Russell’s character to have a significant role in Furious 8, and now it appears that Statham will be along for the ride as well.