Warning: Big spoilers ahead for The Fate of the Furious. If you're yet to see the film, get back in your 10-second car and flee like the cops have rumbled your street race.
After seeing one of your own emotionally tortured and blackmailed into carrying out the bidding of a psychotic villain, you would imagine that the Fast family would be totally up for a relaxing retirement from the high-intensity lifestyle they've been living for the last eight installments. However that's not exactly how Dom Toretto and his family operate, and if there's anything we should take away from #thefateofthefurious, it's that we can expect to see the gang again in cinemas pretty soon.
But where exactly does the Fast and Furious franchise go from here? Well fasten your seatbelt, because here's a pretty good idea of how Fast 8 — the first film in a trilogy to end the Fast & Furious franchise — sets up its sequel and threequel.
'Fast & Furious 8' = Cipher Is Still At Large
Cipher put the Dom, Letty and the gang through the absolute ringer in The Fate of the Furious. From zombie cars to EMPs and that final insane ice chase, it was a relief when at the end of it Dom and baby Brian managed to escape, thanks to the Shaw bros.
As much of a relief as Dom and Brian's escape was, it also meant that Cipher had managed to escape and by the end of the film was apparently last seen somewhere near Athens. While it seemed that Cipher had been somewhat neutralized as a threat, with her insane hacker skills and seemingly endless resources — not to mention her tenacity (remember how Dom had already thwarted her plans twice before Fast 8?) — it'd be naive to assume she won't appear sometime in the future.
So, this much seems a certainty, with the series very definitely leaving the door open for Cipher to come back in future installments, however, now is where we get into the deep theorizing. In the interest of keeping the trilogy interesting, and not just spending three films trying to bring down Cipher, it seems very possible that she appear again until the Fast & Furious 10, the final film of this supposed franchise ending trilogy (yes, it's hella confusing). So what might happen in the meantime?
Fast & Furious 9 = Another threat appears?
After being thwarted by Dom's crew for a third time, Cipher has now retreated to Greece, and after underestimating the Fast family yet again it would seem reasonable to assume she'll be spending a little more time plotting her next move than she did between the last three movies (Cipher was responsible for hiring Owne Shaw in Fast & Furious 6 and Mose Jakande in Furious 7 before getting her hands dirty in Fate of the Furious).
So if Cipher is busy off licking her wounds for the events of Fast & Furious 9, what could this sequel film be about? Well considering this is a franchise that took its characters from stealing DVD players to working for the FBI, the ninth film could literally be about anything. However the rumor that Tokyo Drift character, Sean Boswell will return for the film is something that indicates it may be about getting retribution for the death of Han, who was killed by Deckard Shaw. It was during Sean's appearance in Furious 7, that Dom told him "words ain't even been invented yet" for the things he was going to do to Han's murderer.
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But what, isn't Shaw one of the good guys now? Well he certainly seemed to have redeemed himself to Dom by rescuing baby Brian, but as far as Sean's concerned, he's still the bastard that killed Han (and whose brother killed his girlfriend, Gisele). Could it be possible that Sean will be so distraught by Dom forgiving and partnering up with Han's killer that he goes on his own revenge mission?
It might not be quite strong enough for an entire movie to be based on this idea, but this Fast fam and Shaw bros partner up is one huge plot hole from The Fate of the Furious. And if we fans anything about the Fast & Furious franchise, we know that it loves to go to extreme lengths to fill plot holes, even if it means altering the chronological order of the entire franchise.
There's also a great idea from Uproxx that the sequel (a.k.a ninth film) should be set at a different time in the series (much like Tokyo Drift) in order to bring back Han, simply because his character was amazing. There are obvious issues to this working smoothly, but it would also be amazing.
Fast & Furious 10 = Cipher Re-emerges As A Mega Threat
The tenth movie in the Fast & Furious franchise will supposedly be the last (though rumors of spin-off films are rife), so it makes sense that the series will want to go out with at least one bang, multiple explosions, several hundred car casualties, and a heck of a villain for the crew to take down.
With the eighth, ninth and tenth films set up as a trilogy it would make the most sense that Cipher will return once again with some sort of mega destructive plan that the Fast family need to stop. With Ciphers fondness for dangerous technology and weapons, the sky's the limit for what she might attempt to do, and I wouldn't put anything past the writing team for the franchise.
Whatever the Fast & Furious franchise has prepared for us in the future, we know for certain that there will be at least two more films for us to feast our eyes upon, and after the twists and turns of The Fate of the Furious, we can only imagine what will come next.
The Fate of the Furious hits theaters on April 14