Where no car has gone before: New 'F9' trailer takes the franchise to outer space

One year ago, the first trailer for F9 dropped two major revelations about the improbable ninth installment in the inescapable Fast and Furious franchise. First, John Cena would be playing Jakob Toretto, the long-lost younger brother of Vin Diesel's family-minded Dominic Toretto. And second, Sunk Kang's fan-favorite speedster Han is back from the dead, with his appetite for snacks and drifting still intact. So what's left for the new trailer to tease? Try over three minutes of oversized car-smashing action that's going to spill off the big screen when the film opens in theaters on June 25 — finally ending its coronavirus-caused delay. (Watch the trailer above.)

It's notable that F9 is opening in multiplexes nearly 20 years to the day after the original Fast and the Furious sped into theaters back in the summer of 2001. And during those two decades, the franchise has escalated from from street racing thrills to superhero-level spectacle. Tyrese Gibson's Roman can't help but call attention to how far they've all come. "Y'all ever thought about the wild missions we've been on?" Roman remarks in the F9 trailer. "We've taken out planes, trains, tanks. I'm not even going to think about the submarine! And now we've got cars flying in the air."

It's only appropriate that Roman and frequent foil Tej Parker (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) are glimpsed in one of those flying cars. And director Justin Lin teases that the duo may be breaking the final frontier that the Fast franchise has previously left unexplored: outer space. "I'm on the phone with scientists, learning about fuel and physics," the filmmaker recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "It was great, having the scientists on the other line going, 'Wait, what? What are you trying to do?' I love it."

Needless to say, Twitter is loving the trailer for F9: Roman and Tej in Space as well.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Variety, Lin confirmed that the late Paul Walker's alter ego, Brian O'Conner, lives on in the Fast and Furious universe. "It's very impactful and it's very important," the director says of the brief glimpse of Brian fans see in the trailer. "I want to always be very respectful and how we present that. I think that [in] Nine, you will feel the presence of Brian, for sure." One of the ways viewers will feel Brian's presence is via his wife — and Dom's and Jakob's sister — Mia (Jordana Brewster), who is pulled back into service for the events of F9. "She's coming back for the right reasons — that's her brother, too," Lin told Entertainment Weekly.

Despite Lin's respectful attempts to keep Walker's spirit alive, it's worth noting that a vocal segment of Fast and Furious fans aren't thrilled that the movies continued beyond the actor's real-life death in 2013. “Fast 9 is really the beginning of the final chapter of the saga," the director says in his THR interview. "So in doing that I think there’s a lot of room to really place our characters, and Brian obviously is a big part of the universe still."

That final chapter is going to play out over two more Fast and Furious installments, which will be shot back-to-back in the style of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. "There's moments where I remember hanging out with Vin and we'd just talk about, "Well, what would the last chapter be? Where is Dom going?" And so it's all starting to come together now," Lin teases in his EW interview. "There's a really different vibe on this one and it feels like we've all been on this journey and we've earned it. So I'm definitely in savor mode right now as we're creating."

F9 premieres in theaters on June 25.

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