(SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ‘FATE OF THE FURIOUS’)
If you saw FATE OF THE FURIOUS this past weekend, you know that Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw–the main villain from FURIOUS 7 who was revealed to be the one who killed Han (Offender Sung Kang) in FAST & FURIOUS 6–becomes a member of the FAST “family”.
Though he starts the movie as a baddie, Shaw eventually redeems himself–at one point saving Dominic Toretto’s child and even being “welcomed” at the Toretto family barbecue by movie’s end. But this plot point has come with its own controversy from some FAST fans especially fans of Han. Not only did Shaw kill Han, but considering how important “family” is to Vin Diesel’s Toretto throughout the franchise, how can he embrace the cold-bloodied killer of a member of his “family” so easily?
In a recent interview, EW asked FATE OF THE FURIOUS screenwriter Chris Morgan this very question:
EW: So there was no concern about, like, “Do they forgive him for killing Han?”
Chris: That is one of the concerns: Will the audience embrace a character, judging what’s happened in the last films? We’re able to position it in a way that a healing happens. And then beyond it, we’re gonna learn some more interesting stuff about him.
When you guys initially brought him on in the last couple of movies, was there always some notion of flipping him from an antagonist to joining up with the team?
Bringing Jason into the franchise, we always had an understanding. His character is a man with a code, and he believes in it, and he has a lot of similarities to Dom.
There are things, as developers, that we know about the character that you guys, the audience, do not know. We have the luxury of getting to that. I think people will be surprised and interested in it. This movie gets to a little bit more about who he is, and we learn a lot of new things about him.
I think the response will be that, because of what happened to Han, there is going to be a residual drama and tension. We’re going to lean into that. We haven’t forgotten about it. We’re going to investigate all of that. But also, you can see, in this film, a little more in [Deckard’s] core, as well. I know it’s a little unsettling, I know it’s a little different. Maybe the audience isn’t expecting it. I think it’s all, in the end, going to be a really exciting, fun, valuable experience. They’ll come to understand.
It sounds like you’re speaking directly to the fans of Han.
For sure, for sure! Sung Kang is one of my favorite people on the planet. His character, God, I love Han. I love Han! And look, there is still conversations for Deckard and the team to be having about it. There’s still things we get to discover. I think that, over the journey over the next few films, I think anyone who may be having issues about that will get a satisfying resolution.
To read the full interview, go to EW: The Fate of the Furious: Screenwriter Chris Morgan talks Shaw… and Han