With the latest entry in the franchise breaking all kinds of box-office records, Universal has announced that a Fast & Furious spin-off starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham is officially in the works.

According to Deadline, the as yet untitled spin-off will see Hobbs (Johnson) and Shaw (Statham) forced to team-up to defeat a common enemy. The script will be written by Fast & Furious veteran Chris Morgan, and it could be in cinemas before part nine of the main franchise arrives in 2019. 

One of the highlights of Fast & Furious 8 was the sizzling banter between Hobbs and Shaw, the two men from opposite sides of the law begrudgingly became chums, even if they might kill each other at any moment. Both Johnson and Statham's first Fast & Furious appearance had them play the main antagonist for Dom and his crew (sorry, family), but over the course of the franchise Hobbs and Shaw have become part of the crew. 

Statham made an explosive entry during a post credits scene in part six where it was revealed that he was responsible for the death of Han as seen in Toyoko Dift. Early on in Furious 7, The Stath went up against The Rock for an almighty throwdown. This is the stuff that great buddy movie friendships are made of. 

A Hobbs centred spin-off has been on the cards for a couple of years, and Johnson has made no secret of his love for the character. Aside from developing the script, the biggest hurdle that Universal has been faced with is finding a window in Johnson's jam-packed schedule. Fast & Furious 8 was the first of three movies starring Dwayne Johnson to be released this year. He's back on our screens next month in the movie version of Baywatch, and he leads the cast of the Jumanji reboot that hits cinemas this Christmas.

Universal recently confirmed that the franchise would come to an end after the 2021 release of Fast & Furious X, just in time to mark the twentieth anniversary of the first film. Could Hobbs and Shaw carry on once Dom rides off into the sunset? Only time will tell, but Universal are far from being finished with the world of Fast & Furious.