One of the biggest questions revolving around the soon-to-be-released Fast & Furious 9, aside from how on Earth they’re going to pull off that “car in space” sequence from the trailer, is regarding the return of fan-favorite character Han, played by Sung Kang. Han was killed off by Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham, in Fast & Furious 6, and Shaw then went on to become one of the good guys of the franchise, leading to fan outrage.
Now that Han is coming back from the dead, there is naturally unfinished business left to deal with regarding Shaw. Statham is aware of that fact, commenting previously, “They better bring me back, because I need to put out that fire. If [Han has] got any score to settle, it’s with me.” In a new interview with People, Sung Kang hinted that Shaw and Han might find a way to peacefully co-exist moving forward.
“We’ll have explanations in Fast 9. … Everybody loves Jason, so why not, right? I’ve got to include him, right? Hey, if I can die 10 times, he can turn into a good guy from a bad guy. [laughs] It’s not that big of a deal, but it’s a course correction for the audience. Never dismiss and disrespect the audience. They are the reason why the movies exist, so you can’t just ignore them. It’s cool and great that a studio like Universal listens, they listen. That’s a course correction. That’s the justice.”
Han’s return is seen as an important moment for the Fast & Furious franchise, as he is one of the few non-white leads of the series, who has been in the films the longest, even longer than Dominic Toretto. According to Sung Kang, the fact that the entire Fast & Furious timeline can be lined up against Han’s journey through the series, which is something fans have grown so attached to, is a blessing for him as an actor.
“I think Han represents a window into what the fans appreciate and what they want. The fact that all these connective tissues with the timeline can be attached to Han. It’s great because there’s an audience that supports that and wants that. There’s a whole subculture that is questioning the timelines and all that, so as an actor, you take 30 steps back and you look at it, and you go, “How cool is it to be a part of this romantic Hollywood story that you’re playing a character that people want to bring back and have justice for?” Then you keep getting resurrected, how many times can this guy die? But there are no complaints, they just want you back. Come on, as an actor, we’re all in the search for validation, to a degree. That’s why we’re actors, that’s why we’re on stage. To have fans all over the world want you back in that film? That’s a blessing. That’s pretty cool if you think about it.”
Directed by Justin Lin, F9 stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron. The film arrives in theaters on June 25. These quotes come from People.