EXCLUSIVE: Just like Hobbs and Shaw themselves, Universal and The Fast and the Furious franchise producer Neal Moritz have become a buddy flick again. Almost two years after Moritz took the Comcast-owned studio to court for breach of contract on the F&F spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, the two sides have settled – and it’s all hugs, kisses and pedal to the metal now.
“Neal H. Moritz has been an integral part of the Fast & Furious family since the inception of the franchise nearly two decades ago,” a Universal spokesperson told Deadline on Thursday. “The studio and Neal have amicably resolved our dispute and settled all claims relating to the Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw. We’re glad to put this issue behind us and focus on the future of this franchise.”
Paperwork is being filed as we speak in Los Angeles Superior Court to make the confidential settlement official.
“Fast & Furious has always been about family and unfortunately we had a little family disagreement,” Moritz said today of the suit he filed in October 2018. “I am happy to rejoin my Universal and Fast family to continue to work on the Fast saga for many films to come. I appreciate Universal’s leadership team working with me and my attorney Howard Abramson to resolve this fairly.”
The resolution comes about a week after Universal came up short before a Golden State appeal panel in its bid to have the matter taken behind closed doors into arbitration.
Moritz, who recently extended his first-look deal at Paramount, claimed he had suddenly been tossed off Hobbs and Shaw just days before the flick went before the cameras. In a skirmish over rejigged profits participation, he sought to be either reinstated as lead producer on the spinoff or be paid out “tens of millions dollars in damages in lost compensation” from the Donna Langley-run studio on the movie, which was released in summer 2019. The pic, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, grossed $759.1 million at the worldwide boxoffice.
Moritz, whose recent credits also include executive producer on Amazon’s The Boys, is a producer on the upcoming F9, which saw its original May 2020 release pushed to April 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.