No one expected The Fast and the Furious would jump start one of the most successful franchises in the world. This 2001 flick was a small crime action drama centered on the rivalry between an elite street racer and an ambitious undercover cop. Nearly 17 years later the eight-film franchise has become a globe-trotting action-drama series. The cast expanded, keeping the core from the original film and picking up a few members from each instalment. The family drama became more dramatic. The action became more gravity defying. The villains evolved from petty drug lords to criminal masterminds. This series has a winning streak unlike any other. In April we will be getting the eighth instalment of this franchise, The Fate of the Furious. Universal surprised the CinemaCon audience with the debut screening of the film, which garnered positive reactions.
Star-producer Vin Diesel took the stage to talk about the franchise, which he’s been a part of since the beginning. “One of the things we’re so proud of with this chapter is how much we defied expectations,” said Diesel.
The latest instalment will have Dom turn against his family and becomes a partner/henchman to Cipher, played by Charlize Theron. The stakes are even higher for the crew as they become entangled in Cipher’s master criminal plan, and the added difficulty from the Shaw family. Helen Mirren will make her first appearance as Magdalene Shaw, the matriarch of the Shaw family.
“As the world sees this movie, they’ll see how its the beginning of a new trilogy,” Diesel said, adding that certain characters were brought in for this new trilogy.
The first trilogy is comprised of The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. These were smaller action films that centered on street racing and the local criminal community. The following three films expanded globally, and became Mission Impossible type films, with bigger stakes and more sophisticated villains. The second trilogy is comprised of Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6. Furious 7 technically should serve as the beginning of the new trilogy, but functions as the transition film to the 8th instalment and tragically serves as the goodbye to Paul Walker. Furious 7 marks the end of the longest running story, Dom & Brian’s friendship.
The Fate of the Furious will be followed by two other films. They will most certainly keep Kurt Russell’s character, Frank Petty, who is the head of a covert ops team. The new trilogy is shaping up to become the lite version of Avengers or Suicide Squad, maybe a bit of both. Frank Petty would be the Nick Fury/Amanda Waller of the films, sending the crew on various missions around the globe, facing an array of villains that threaten the world. This is also the trilogy where Dom will need a new brother and Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs fits perfectly in the role.
This an exciting time for the franchise since Furious 7 broke into the All Time Worldwide Grosses, with $1.5 billion dollars. This is also an exciting time for diversity and inclusion. One of the core reasons for the success has been the racial and gender diversity. That diversity is also reflected in the directors. This film will also be helmed by African-American director F Gary Gray (The Italian Job, Straight Outta Compton). African-American director, John Singleton, directed 2 Fast 2 Furious. Taiwanese-American director, Justin Lin, helmed Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, and Furious 6. Malaysian-Australian director, James Wan, directed Furious 7.
This franchise has changed the game for blockbuster filmmaking. Let’s see how far this franchise can go.
The Fate of the Furious races into theatres April 14.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter.