Deadpool 2 director David Leitch is revving up his engines to possibly join the Fast and Furious family.
The director, considered one of the premier action filmmakers currently working in the field with credits such as John Wick and Atomic Blonde under his belt, has emerged as the frontrunner and is in early talks to direct the untitled Fast and Furious spinoff that is to star Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.
Universal has set a July 26, 2019, release for the movie, which will focus on Luke Hobbs, the Diplomatic Security Service agent played by Johnson, and Deckard Shaw (Statham), an assassin who was one of the primary bad guys in the franchise before being redeemed and joining the motley crew of antiheroes that make up the roll call.
Chris Morgan wrote the script, making it his seventh installment in the franchise.
The Fast and Furious series is a crown jewel for Universal — it has grossed over $5.1 billion worldwide — and the studio is seeking ways to prolong a franchise that has been in the fast lane since 2001.
Leitch’s movies have become known for their unrelenting action sequences that are inventive as much as they are bone-crunching and bullet-riddled. The filmmaker was previously a stunt coordinator who broke into helming as a second unit director, working on movies ranging from Ninja Assassin to Captain America: Civil War. He and partner Chad Stahelski made their directorial debut with 2014’s John Wick.
Deadpool 2 is set to open May 18.