Well, we are 7 films into the Fast & Furious franchise, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of stopping. In fact, numerous actors and movie executives involved in the franchise have revealed that they are planning to go full speed ahead (note: couldn’t resist the pun) with more Fast movies. Considering the fact that this years Fast & Furious 7 raked in $1.5 billion worldwide, it is not all too surprising that the studio is milking the series for all its worth.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, star Vin Diesel, and Universal Studios is planning to spawn 3 more movies parallel to the franchise, as well as an 8th film that continues the main plot. Diesel revealed that they are already in the preliminary stages of developing the 3 prequels and spinoffs. Diesel told Variety, “We’ve written out story lines for various characters. We’ve been playing with it for a long time. It’s a very rich property, and we’re committed to treating it with a lot of class.”
While there has been no confirmation on which star will be the focus of the spin-offs, some have speculated that it may be Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs, who is played by actor Dwayne Johnson.
By producing movies not directly in sequence with the current Fast films, Universal seems to be hoping to employ a strategy similar to that of The Avengers and Star Wars. Both of which have, or are planning to, produce movies that stray from the origin and focus on certain elements or characters from the original ensemble.
While some wonder how the Fast series will keep things interesting, Jeff Shell of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group insists they are bringing more to the table in upcoming films. The studio decided to bring in screenwriter F. Gary Gary, who is still riding the wave of his hugely successful movie Straight Outta Compton, to guide the 8th movie. In a statement, Jeff explained, “You can’t keep having every movie have bigger and bigger stunts forever and ever and ever. Eventually, you have to really focus on the story. We’ll still have big stunts but bringing in this amazing storyteller is going to be great.”
Even with 7 movies that span out over a decade, Shell insists that there is still a bright future for the franchise. He explained, “it’s at its peak now. By the way, internationally something people forget is yes, this is ‘Furious 7,’ but probably half the people around the globe that saw ‘Furious 7’ hadn’t seen any of the other ‘Fast and Furious’ films in the theater. It’s new in China to them, it’s new in Russia to the, it’s new in most of Latin America, so this is a series that is accelerating in my view, not slowing down.”
Unfortunately, some of the hype for the 7th movie came from the sudden and tragic death of star Paul Walker. Paul was killed in an offset car accident while the 7th film was being produced. Ultimately, the studio decided to move forward with the project and employed a body double and visual effect to close out Paul’s storyline. With the permission of the Walker family, the film’s directors decided to have Paul’s character drive into the sunset, rather than kill him off which some were expecting.
Thus, as long as fans continue to go to the movies, it looks like the studio and the stars of Fast are willing to put out many more films. From an outside perspective (i.e. not a follower of the franchise), I find it hard to believe that they will be able to keep audiences hyped and intrigued for at least 4 more films. However, I suppose it’s similar to the Harry Potter series, which could have easily continued on for numerous more movies.
They’re obviously is a large market of consumers looking to see macho guys, attractive girls, and incredibly expensive cars getting totaled. Therefore, Fast and Furious seems to be the one candidate that is successfully delivering on all these fronts.