By Dave McNary
Universal Pictures will move its ninth Fast and Furious movie back a year to April 10, 2020.
The studio did not disclose the reason for the shift, which was announced on Wednesday. Fast and Furious 9 had been set for April 19, 2019. Both dates fall on Easter weekend.
The eighth movie in the franchise, The Fate of the Furious, stunned earlier this year, grossing $1.2 billion worldwide. It was directed by F. Gary Gray and starred Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Scott Eastwood, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron.
The eight films in the franchise, launched in 2001, have collectively grossed more than $5 billion worldwide. Furious 7, which featured the late Paul Walker’s final appearance, is the top performer, having hauled $1.5 billion globally.
Trolls, produced by DreamWorks Animation, generated $346.9 million worldwide following its release last year. Walt Dohrn is returning to direct the film and Gina Shay is once again producing. Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake will reprise their voice roles as the eternal optimist Poppy and the curmudgeon Branch, respectively.