Of all the 2020 films that were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the newest Fast & Furious installment -- F9 -- definitely stands as one of the productions moviegoers were most looking forward to. Trailers have teased another high-octane adventure that will challenge Dominic Toretto and his “family.” But one of the biggest shockers of that trailer was the reveal of Sung Kang’s seemingly resurrected Han Lue. Many are still trying to figure out how the character has returned, but the internet has rejoiced since the development was made known. Now, franchise star and producer Vin Diesel is opening up about why it’s so important to do the character justice in his return.
Han was originally introduced and killed off during the events of 2006’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Though the character was later brought back in films that were chronologically set before Tokyo Drift, fans were disappointed with how his story ultimately ended. This led to the #JusticeForHan movement, which was later utilized by F9 when the trailer dropped. Vin Diesel is fully aware of how important the character is to the film series and, for F9, he sought to utilize him in a way that was fitting of that:
Han is an integral character in this franchise. If you remember, he's kind of responsible for the away years of Dom Toretto. He's the one doing jobs with him in Mexico, he's the only one who knows where Dom is, and in many ways is the bridge for Dom when Dom comes back in Tokyo Drift. So there's something very special and magical about the Han character. When you see the movie you'll feel it, but I believe at the core it's another testament to, not only don't turn your back on family, but don't give up on family. Without giving away the plot, that's the theme: don't give up on family.
When Vin Diesel’s Dom appeared in the closing moments of Tokyo Drift and was established as a friend of Han’s, it seemed to be just a quick way to further link the Fast & Furious world. But subsequent films like Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6 showed how deep their friendship is.
The sentiments Vin Diesel shared with EW show just how committed he is to giving the fans what they want but also how he tries to move the franchise forward with thoughtful ideas -- as wild as some may be. Yet here, it certainly sounds like Diesel and director Justin Lin had good reasons for reviving Han.
As you would imagine, Sung Kang is particularly excited about reprising his role as his fan-favorite character. The actor, of course, can’t divulge any of the details surrounding Han’s return, but he has expressed his hope that fans will be pleased.
It’s hard to predict how the Fast & Furious franchise will explain Han’s reappearance. But this is honestly far from the hardest thing the series has ever had to clarify. And fans are likely to accept any explanation if it just means having Han back in the fold.
F9 is currently scheduled to hit theaters on May 28, 2021.