Universal Pictures has disappointed millions of petrolheads all over the worlds today by announcing that the next instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise has been delayed, by a whole year. Fast and Furious 9 was initially due for release April 19, 2019, but that's no longer the goal as the highly anticipated sequel is no scheduled for Easter 2020.

There has been no official explanation for the sudden (and lengthy) delay; some outlets are claiming it's just a scheduling decision, and there's nothing else at play here. However, it remains unclear what this means for the final chapter of the franchise as Fast and Furious 10 had already been set for an April 2, 2021, release. Then there's that small matter of the legendary (or publicity stunt friendly) beef between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson that plagued production on the recent part eight.

The release date change has given new life to the rumours that Universal is planning to get that Hobbs & Shaw spin-off movie into cinemas in the now vacant April 19, 2019, the slot that Fast and Furious 9 had previously held. Now, while there might be little in the way of stone cold facts, but moving up the Hobbs/Shaw spin-off to come out before the next sequel seems like a sensible idea from Universal. I saw sensible as this allows them to nurture the extended Fast & Furious franchise while the main arm is still active for at least two further instalments.

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have already confirmed that they are up for teaming up for a spin-off, and Universal are currently looking for a director while Fast & Furious guru Chris Morgan drafts the script.