'Hobbs and Shaw' Ending Spoilers: Screenwriter Explains New Villain Etheon
Someone wants Hobbs and Shaw dead, and it just so happens they’re the most powerful person on Earth. In Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, the first spin-off of the Fast & Furious franchise, DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) teams up with rival Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) to stop a superhuman ex-black ops agent, Brixton (Idris Elba) from killing Shaw’s sister and unleashing a virus to destroy the world.
But while Brixton is the immediate threat, it’s Brixton’s superiors — a disembodied, distorted voice who runs the powerful corporation Etheon — who are the real baddies. It was Etheon that enhanced Brixton’s body to superhuman levels in order to carry out armageddon. (Yes, this is still a Fast & Furious movie. It’s just been so, so long since Dom’s crew stole DVD players whilst driving tuned-up Hondas.)
In an interview with Inverse, co-screenwriter Drew Pearce offered up a little more insight into the new, unknown antagonist of the Fast & Furious universe, one who has potentially major ramifications in future installments.
Spoilers for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw ahead.
At the end of Hobbs & Shaw, the two heroic hunks put their differences aside to defeat Brixton, who is “deactivated” by his leaders at Etheon. In the rain, the mysterious Etheon boss reveals they are old enemies of Deckard Shaw, and that they are still offended Shaw rejected their offers to join (which happened way before Shaw’s first appearance in the films).
The Etheon boss threatens Shaw and Hobbs that they are on Etheon’s radar, to which Hobbs replies, “And you’re on ours.” The identity of the Etheon boss is never revealed, and it’s unknown who voices the role.
As Drew Pearce tells Inverse, there is a lot more story to tell with Etheon.
“We loved the idea that there was a deeper, industrial military complex super corporation that was essential ‘bad guys,’” Pearce says. “There’s a great quote that the future won’t be delineated by countries but by companies. That’s what felt interesting about Etheon.”
Etheon is just the latest sinister corporation in movies, like Skynet (in Terminator), Oscorp (Marvel), LexCorp (DC), and Weyand-Yutani (Alien). And “they have it in” for Shaw because of the way Shaw left them like a bad break-up.
“That’s their history,” Pearce says, “Trying to recruit him and he rebuffed them. There’s a suggestion that they destroyed his life and set him up and that’s how he came to be on the path since we’ve known him in the franchise. He has a history with them.”
Pearce says Shaw’s history with Etheon goes back further than his first appearance in the series, which happened in the post-credits scene of 2013’s Fast & Furious 6. Shaw was brothers-in-arms with Brixton in the British military, but circumstances led Etheon to force Shaw to kill Brixton. Shaw never forgave Etheon, and so, Etheon resurrected Brixton and surgically enhanced his abilities beyond superhuman levels. That’s where Hobbs & Shaw picks up.
So when Hobbs and Shaw turn up, he’s “on their radar for sure.” Pearce adds that when the dynamic duo gets in Etheon’s way, “that becomes a problem with an organization whose MO is [to be] down as far as possible.”
As for the identity of Etheon’s leader, Pearce isn’t just resistant because it could spoil the next movie, but because it might actually change. “There’s a lot of stuff we wrote that isn’t in the movie, and in the interest of keeping those mysteries and the fact those mysteries may change from what we thought they were to what happens next, is not worth saying.”
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw hits theaters on August 2.