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Is ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ a Low-Key Deadpool Prequel?

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Hobbs & Shaw may technically be the newest Fast & Furious film but the spin-off doesn’t really feel like it belongs in the F&F universe. There’s no mention of Dom, Letty, or any of the other members of the OG crew of lovable street racers. In fact, Hobbs & Shaw wanders so far away from any semblance of the grounded tone of the original films that it really feels like its titular ass-kicking heroes would fit better in another popular genre: the cinematic world of superheroes. And with that in mind, here is why Hobbs & Shaw secretly exists in the Deadpool Cinematic Universe.

Warning: Mild Hobbs & Shaw spoilers ahead.

While Hobbs and Shaw may not technically be superheroes, their ability to dispense of countless highly-trained henchmen with less effort than you put into mowing the lawn suggest their not really that far off. Plus, half of the superheroes in movies don’t really have superpowers (Iron Man and Batman) so it wouldn’t be that hard to imagine Hobbs and Shaw taking some secret government serum that allows them to reach their maximum demi-god potential, ala Steve Rogers becoming Captain America (except, in this case, Rogers is already totally jacked).

This line of thinking is supported by Brixton, the Hobbs & Shaw baddie who is equipped with an Iron Man-esque suit that basically transforms him from normal villain to full-blown supervillain. And while Brixton dies at the end of the movie, the mysterious voice that gave him the suit is still very much still alive and well. So for the Hobbs & Shaw sequel, why not have the government give the two suits of their own that would make them genuine superspies that protect the world from global threats? It’s the natural evolution of the characters and, on a simpler note, who the fuck wouldn’t see that movie?

But why the DPCU specifically? Let’s start with the obvious: Ryan Reynolds is in this movie as Locke, a CIA Agent who recruits Hobbs and by the post-credits scene has pretty much joined the Hobbs & Shaw crew. And if you somehow didn’t know, Reynolds is also the guy who plays Deadpool. Reynolds, of course, is an actor and actors play different characters in different movies. But Reynolds isn’t the only Deadpool actor in this movie. Rob Delaney, who plays dad hero Peter in Deadpool 2, also appears in Hobbs & Shaw as Loeb, a CIA Agent responsible for recruiting Shaw. And after the two have roped in their respective heroes, the two share a phone call discussing whether Hobbs and Shaw will be able to work together.

Fun little Easter Egg? Perhaps but what if this is really a hint at the fact that Deadpool is secretly pulling some narrative strings to eventually recruit these two total badasses to become members of his crew? After all, even when Hobbs is believed to be a traitor who is wanted by the U.S. Government, he is still in full communication with Locke, who is desperate to join Hobbs’ posse. Could Deadpool and Peter just be posing as CIA higher-ups to help ensure they assemble their dream team? Is that why Locke was featured in the film’s ending as well as the final post-credits scene? So that we get familiar with him only for him to reveal himself to be Deadpool in a Shymalanesque twist? God, we hope so.

Now, there are admittedly some logistical questions that come with this theory. First of all, the exact timing of when these two would fit together isn’t clear. Reynold’s face isn’t disfigured like Wade Wilson’s is in the Deadpool movies, which would make it unlikely to be a sequel. However, Peter doesn’t join Deadpool’s crew until the sequel so it also doesn’t quite work as a prequel.

But aren’t these just silly semantics that could easily be overcome with a bit of Hollywood Magic? After all, neither Fast & Furious nor superhero movies have ever been that precious about their timelines anyway (Tokyo Drift somehow takes place after the sixth F&F movie?) so we feel confident this could all be reconciled with a quick metajoke from Deadpool, like how he literally killed the Wolverine version of the character. And worst case, they could always just pull an Endgame by involving time travel to tie up any loose narrative problems.

For now, Hobbs & Shaw remains a part of the Fast & Furious franchise but as it drifts further and further from reality, don’t be surprised if the two heroes slowly leave Dom and the gang behind in order to join Deadpool and his merry band of misfits. After all, the only thing that could make these two properties more beloved is if they teamed up to form the most badass super crew ever assembled.