Vin Diesel F9 welcome back
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Credit: Universal Pictures

Fast Saga's Vin Diesel welcomes fans back to theaters ahead of 'F9' premiere in special video message

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Apr 25, 2021, 2:06 PM EDT

Following a year-long shutdown, movie theaters are starting to warm up their engines once again for what promises to be a fast-paced summer full of studio tentpoles. In a special video message released by the Fast Saga’s YouTube channel, F9 Vin Diesel star took the time to welcome audiences back to theaters ahead of the film’s June 25 premiere. Helmed by franchise veteran Justin Lin, the death-defying blockbuster was originally supposed to hit screens last May, but ended up delayed by more than a year as a direct result of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“It’s been a while. The roads were a little emptier. Places where we used to gather went quiet,” Diesel (who plays daredevil/speed demon Dominic Toretto) says in the video, which acknowledges the pandemic’s profound impact on the entertainment industry. “We’ve gone through a year that tested us, but we’re starting to see the promise of a new day. For more than 100 years, there’s one place where we all came together to be entertained; to escape; to go someplace new. The movies. There’s nothing like that moment when the lights go down, the projector ignites, and we believe…”

Watch below:

It’s a rather charming video that not only gives up hope for the future of movie theaters, but also serves as an audition tape of sorts. If automotive companies don’t hire Diesel to narrate future car commercials after this, then they’re totally missing out. The man’s got a deep and soothing voice like churned cinnamon butter.

Written by Lin and Daniel Casey, F9 picks up with Dom and his wife, Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), living a quiet life with their young son, Brian. Both Dom and Letty are forced out of retirement when Dom’s brother, Jakob (John Cena), comes looking for revenge. To defeat his irate sibling, Dom’s gonna need the help of his entire family: Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster), Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Ludacris), Megan Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Magdalene Shaw (Helen Mirren), and Han Lue (Sung Kang).

"There’s a lot we’re exploring. I think we’re exploring this idea of sibling rivalry and conflict, family by blood for the first time," Lin told Collider around the premiere of the latest trailer, which teased a long-awaited trip into outer space. "And to be able to do that but also at the same time bring a lot of these characters back, there’s a lot going on."

F9 speeds into theaters Friday, June 25. Two months prior to the film’s wide release, Universal will host weekly screenings of the first eight Fast Saga movies in theaters across the U.S. Tickets are completely free, but you need to check with your local theater for specifics.