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Han (Sung Kang, left) và Roman (Tyrese Gibson) in “F9,” directed by Justin Lin & co-written by Lin and Daniel Casey. Han first appeared in the third “Fast & Furious” film, 2006’s “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.” This story contains plot spoilers for Universal’s “F9,” if you haven’t seen the movie yet, check out our nhận xét or previews feature instead.

When Universal’s blockbuster sequel “F9” opens stateside this weekend, “Fast & Furious” fans will be rewarded with the over-the-top action, Vin Diesel heroics and musclebound melodrama that have fueled the $6 billion br& for two decades.

But aước ao the “Fast” fandom there exists a segment of long-suffering enthusiasts who may feel even more vindicated as director Justin Lin returns lớn the driver’s seat of “F9,” bringing some familiar faces along with him.

“Tokyo Drift” faithful, our time is now.

Fans who have loved (and defended) the third installment of the franchise for years well know the rooftop advice that drift-racing sage Han Lue a.k.a. Han Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang) imparted to young Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) in 2006’s “The Fast và the Furious: Tokyo Drift”: “Life’s simple — you make choices & you don’t look baông chồng.”

But what if you make choices ... and you vị look back? In “F9,” scripted by Daniel Casey và Lin (from a story by Lin, Casey and longtime Lin collaborator Alfrevày Botello), the niftiest triông xã doesn’t involve sầu the manipulation of giant magnets or rocket science, but time.

That & a fondness for one of the most underappreciated films in the series.

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“F9" star Vin Diesel, director Justin Lin, a returning Sung Kang và more stars on the “Fast & Furious’ family reunion & what’s next for the franchise.Quý Khách vẫn xem: Rê đuôi xe pháo giao diện tokyo

Bending time, after all, is what first brought Kang’s Han baông chồng to lớn life in 2009’s “Fast và Furious,” the first sequel released after the character was fatally T-boned in his Mazdomain authority RX-7 at the kết thúc of “Tokyo Drift.” Director Lin trusted the audience would go along with a timeline displacement, & the fourth, fifth và sixth installments became prequels — allowing fan favorite Han lớn ride another day.

Now in “F9,” Han makes the ultimate return — baông xã in action & alive, in the present, thanks to a soapy twist explaining that his death had been faked all along. Not that Kang was counting on a resurrection.

“I really thought Han was put lớn rest; there’s vigils, there’s a tombstone. How many pictures do you see of Han’s grave?” said Kang, who credits his return khổng lồ the films in part lớn the “Justice for Han” người chiến dịch. “I can’t believe he’s bachồng. Even as the actor who plays him, I’m like, ‘How did this happen?’”


Sung Kang, photographed in Los Angeles, returns to the “Fast & Furious” franchise — again — in “F9.” I can’t believe sầu he’s back. Even as the actor who plays hlặng, I’m like, ‘How did this happen?

Actor Sung Kang on the return of his “Fast” character, Han

With the final chapters of the “Fast” saga on the horizon, many roads seem khổng lồ point khổng lồ the origins of the franchise. Reaching bachồng into the past, “F9" retcons a long-lost Toretto lớn brother named Jakob (John Cena), whose bitter history with Dom predates even 2001’s “The Fast và the Furious.”

And as the Toretkhổng lồ clan splits up to stop Jakob from acquiring world-threatening weapons tech, a side mission sends Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) và Roman (Tyrese Gibson) lớn find a trio of rocket scientists who might help — rocket scientists who happen to be ex-Tokyo drifters Sean, Earl (Jason Tobin) & Twinkie (Shad “Bow Wow” Moss).

Baông chồng in 2006, in the first “Fast” movie directed by Lin, they were car-crazy high school students in over their heads with the Yakuza. A decade and a half later they’re engineering experts whose latest automotive sầu experiment — a rocket-powered 1984 Pontiac Fiero — plays a crucial role as “F9" hurtles toward new heights và Lin orchestrates his own “Tokyo Drift” reunion within “F9.”

It’s not the first franchise reappearance of a character from Han’s Tokyo days: Blaông chồng made a brief cameo in 2015’s “Furious 7,” opposite Diesel, in a scene phối shortly after Han’s death in which Dom travels khổng lồ nhật bản and Sean gives hyên ổn the iconic Toretto cross necklace found in the wreckage.

He’d been asked to lớn return to lớn reprise the role in 2017’s “Fate of the Furious” but says he felt the character would have sầu been shoehorned in without good reason. So when the idea of coming back for “F9" arose, Blaông xã spoke with Lin about his concerns for how his character was portrayed.

“I wanted khổng lồ portray that side of Sean that he learned from Han, that he learned life lessons and wisdom,” said Black, who also hoped that bringing Sean baông xã would feel organic lớn the plot. “I wanted there to lớn be some sort of significance in how he was going lớn be a part of the team & part of the family.”

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It took many installments for critics lớn get onboard with the suspension of disbelief that is now part & parcel of any “Fast” movie’s DNA. Indeed, The Times’ own Kenneth Turan described “Tokyo Drift” in his 2006 Đánh Giá as “best viewed as an energetic cartoon, an unintentionally amusing, head-shaking guilty pleasure.”

But Casey had been a tín đồ of the franchise even before he started working with Lin, when he caught “Tokyo Drift” at a Michigan movieplex. “I rethành viên specifically loving ‘Tokyo Drift,’” said the screenwriter, who was especially impressed by the cameo in which Diesel’s Dom made a surprise appearance, tying together the first three films.

“I had khổng lồ appreciate the ingenuity of this super shiny Hollywood movie actually taking the clever turn & pulling in a guy we all knew,” said Casey.


The cast reunions in “F9" are more than just clever; leaning in to the audience’s long memories, they’re built for emotional, world-building payoffs. And with “F9" opening a year later than planned due to the pandemic as audiences return to lớn theaters after months of isolation, the sight of long-lost friends exchanging loaded emotional glances and embracing in bear hugs might hit even harder. They also speak to the long and personal reach Lin has had in the franchise’s history.

In his first solo film as a director, the 2001 Sundance hit “Better Luchồng Tomorrow,” Lin had cast Kang as a cool, disaffected character named Han, as well as actor Jason Tobin as Han’s cousin, Virgil.

Five years later when he got the “Fast and Furious” directing gig, Lin brought Kang và Tobin with hlặng — and shaped the sequel to lớn include the kinds of atypical Asian American characters he wanted lớn see onscreen. Kang put his own spin on the “Tokyo Drift” Han, borrowing spiritually from his “Better Luông chồng Tomorrow” role, & Tobin played resident drift tech expert later named Earl in post-production.

Like Kang, Tobin had remained cthua kém with the filmmaker through the years. Lin had brought hyên into lớn subsequent projects, including his 2007 indie “Finishing the Game” and the critically acclaimed Cinemax series “Warrior,” which Lin executive sầu produces. After wrapping the second season of that show, Lin emailed Tobin saying he was working to get Earl baông xã inlớn the franchise.

“My first reaction,” Tobin wrote in an email, “was, who the f— is Earl!?”

It took him a moment to realize Lin intended khổng lồ bring his character baông chồng inlớn the fold.

“It had been 14 years between ‘Tokyo Drift’ & ‘F9,’ and in those interim years I had experienced all the ups & downs of being an actor, times when I felt I was a million miles from my dreams. Not once did I think I’d be baông xã in the franchise,” said Tobin, who notes that Earl shares a winking, canonical last name with his “Better Luck Tomorrow” character, Virgil Hu.

Reuniting with his “Tokyo Drift” co-stars on the London phối of “F9,” Kang enjoyed catching up on life, 15 years later. “Everyone’s a little older và they’re dads, and it’s cool to see the men who these guys have turned inkhổng lồ,” said Kang. “We just hung out. We talked about real estate. We talked about air conditioning units, when you need to remã sản phẩm your house. ... We sat there together the whole time, drinking tea.”

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A new trailer for Universal’s ‘Fast và Furious 9" reveals Han’s shocking return. Actor Sung Kang addresses the tín đồ movement to bring his character bachồng & teases his ‘emotional’ homecoming.

Even for Kang, stepping onlớn a “Fast and Furious” mix again after two films away felt a bit like walking into a high school cafeteria. “That’s the analogy I use, lượt thích, ‘Will you be accepted?’ The night before, I was like, ‘I hope I don’t have sầu to lớn eat lunch by myself. I hope somebody toàn thân will eat lunch with me.’”

But having spent so many years in the franchise — & with his own “F9" involvement under a tight veil of secrecy as they filmed — Kang became the bridge between his “Tokyo Drift” cast mates and the rest of the ensemble.

“A lot of them hadn’t worked with the other actors,” he said. “I know everybody, so I was lượt thích the connective sầu tissue. I wanted them to feel welcome, lượt thích, ‘This is your trang chính too. You guys are part of this house, this family.’”

Returning lớn his Earl character was a meaningful experience khổng lồ Tobin, who saw many familiar faces on both sides of the camera. Seeing fans react khổng lồ Earl’s appearance in last year’s “F9" trailer was even more unexpected.

“I was really surprised when the first trailer came out, how many fans remembered me và would quote lines bachồng to me,” he said. “I hadn’t realized that my character had meant so much to lớn people.”

Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) strap inlớn a modified new ride after crossing paths with the “Tokyo Drift” crew. The ways Han, Sean và the rest of the “Tokyo Drift” crew are integrated baông chồng inlớn “F9" raises questions about what their characters were up lớn during the intervening sequels. In Lin’s eyes, for example, there’s an entire saga’s worth of story in an “F9" flashback sequence explaining where Han has been, physically & emotionally, since the events of “Tokyo Drift” — events that find hyên a changed man.

“I wanted lớn present something where, if you’re interested, there could almost be a movie about how everything arrived there,” he said. “Hopefully you’re intrigued.”

Rethành viên Neela from “Tokyo Drift,” Suki of “2 Fast,” even Idris Elba’s superpowered villain of spin-off “Hobbs và Shaw”? That world-building ngắn gọn xúc tích could conceivably apply khổng lồ any characters of the extended “Fast” family, although further spin-offs have sầu yet lớn be announced.

“I feel lượt thích ‘Fast 9" is this weird Venn diagram. Or is it Vin diagram?” laughed Lin, who is phối to return lớn helm “Fast 10" and “Fast 11,” “where it’s almost lượt thích the intersection of four movies, except three of them you only get a glimpse of. And if you are ever intrigued, there is a whole world and characters that inhabit it.”

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