Hobbs & Shaw is one of my most anticipated movies of the year. Sure, I’m excited for Avengers: Endgame, but also Hobbs & Shaw is a real movie that exists and it features Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Idris Elba trying to out-punch one another while driving cool cars really fast. I’m super into it, which is why I am also super annoyed that Universal has not yet released the new trailer screened at CinemaCon yesterday. I need more of this ridiculosity in my life.
The Rock and The Stath were on hand at CinemaCon to introduce the footage, along with director David Leitch. He co-directed John Wick, and also directed Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2. How did I not know he was directing Hobbs & Shaw? Now I’m even more into it. (Atomic Blonde is the sh-t and I re-watch it a lot.) Also, by all accounts Johnson and Statham’s incredible chemistry was on display, which is sort of low-key shade at Vin Diesel, if you think about it. Johnson and Diesel couldn’t even stand next to each other on a red carpet, while Johnson is perfectly happy to shill alongside Statham.
That chemistry is a big part of the sell for this movie. Not unlike the Marvel movies, which expertly incorporate cast chemistry into promotions, Hobbs & Shaw is going to be a lot about The Rock and The Stath and their mock-rivals schtick and how they play off each other at press events. Again, it’s championship low-key shade toward Vin Diesel. It’s a reminder, that THIS is what it looks like when people who actually like each other promote a movie together. I don’t think The Rock is even pretending there isn’t a feud anymore—there was a Vin Diesel joke in Fighting with My Family that made several audience members go “Ooohhh”—but it’s extra-special clear when you see him working with someone he actually likes.