‘F9’: Sung Kang and Justin Lin Reveal the Real Reason They Brought Han Back to ‘The Fast and the Furious’

The F9 trailer blew Fast and the Furious fans’ minds when Sung Kang showed up. Kang played Han in four movies from Tokyo Drift through Furious 6. Fans thought they’d neve see Han again, and for good reason. Now, Kang and director Justin Lin reveal exactly why they brought Han back. 

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for previous Fast and the Furious movies.]

Sung Kang and Vin Diesel face off in F9
L-R: Sung Kang and Vin Diesel | Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures

Lin and Kang spoke at a F9 press conference on June 12. You’ll see how F9 explains Han’s return when it opens June 25, but Lin and Kang explained their reasons for even attempting that explanation. 

Why fans wanted #Justice4Han since ‘Furious 6’

Han died in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Fans knew it was coming ever since Fast & Furious decided to be a prequel and show Han riding with Dom (Vin Diesel)’s crew. But, when Furious 6 revealed that Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) killed Han, fans demanded justice. Especially when Deckard became a hero in The Fate of the Furious, fans tweeting #Justice4Han couldn’t just excuse the murder.

Sung Kang and Tyrese Gibson in F9
L-R: Sung Kang and Tyrese Gibson | Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures

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“I think the #Justice4Han movement from the fans, I give them 100% credit,” Lin said. “When I was away, I heard about this movement and when I asked about it, I was equally baffled and probably a little upset that one of our most beloved characters was being treated, or even just dismissed. I look back now and I actually feel very fortunate because if there was never that movement or any of that, I don’t think I was going to bring him back. For it all to happen, I give the fans’ passion and vocal support all the credit.”

Sung Kang also thanks the fans for bringing Han back  in ‘F9’

At the time of Furious 6, Kang thought he was finished with The Fast and the Furious. He’d had a good run of four movies.

“After we did 6 we closed the book on the journey and said this was a wonderful experience, wonderful ride,” Kang said. “We got to make all these movies together and live our Hollywood dream together. We were happy.”

There was no plan to leave room for Han to survive in Furious 6. But, when the fans demanded #Justice4Han, and Lin returned to direct F9, it all fell into place.

Han drives in F9
l-R: Jordana Brewster, Anna Sawai and Sung Kang | Universal Pictures

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“When the opportunity came for Justin to come back and you see all this fervor over #Justice4Han and the love for that character, I think just the stars aligned,” Kang said. “It was perfect timing. Everything worked out. A lot of it was out of our control. It just seemed like the world needed Han back if you will.”

‘F9’ costars wanted Han back too

The Fast and the Furious crew adds new members with each sequel, but they were sad to see Kang go. Ludacris said he was following #Justice4Han and happy to welcome Kang back.

“My thoughts on the #Justice4Han movement, I absolutely loved it,” Ludacris said. “We all missed Sung so much and his character coming back just fills that gap that needed to be filled to feel complete. I just think that he brings so much great not only intellect but he’s very, very strategic, his character, in everything that he does. He kind of sits back and he’s quiet, but he’s cool, calm and collected but when it’s time for action, he springs to life. That’s what I love about his character.”

Ludacris found out before the fans did. 

“We had to keep it such a secret,” Ludacris said. “It was so much of a secret he couldn’t even come out of his trailer while we were shooting because they didn’t want paparazzi to catch him and for the secret to get out. All of that, marketing and promotion we did was absolutely great.”