The release date for the eighth film in the Fast and Furious franchise, Fast 8, is just a little over a year away, and we’ve been hearing a lot about the various locales the film plans to shoot in as the production begins to take shape. Though previous movies were based largely in Los Angeles, with the ensemble cast traveling to several international destinations along the way, star Vin Diesel has revealed the latest film will spend a significant amount of time in New York.
Anyone who’s ever driven in NYC traffic knows how tricky a car chase sequence there could be, but the Big Apple isn’t the only location the production is considering. Earlier this month Universal Pictures confirmed it was scouting out Cuba as a possibility, and now there is confirmation that another country’s coast is being booked for filming.
The Iceland site Visir has reported (via ComingSoon.net) that the town of Akranes, about 28 miles north of capital city Reykjavik, will feature in Fast 8. Mayor Regína Ásvaldsdóttir confirmed that the film crew will arrive sometime this April. She added that the town’s residents were excited about the production and the increased revenue it can bring. Akranes’ hospital was previously used for a portion of filming the Wachowskis’ Netflix series Sense8.
The Fast 8 crew will be focusing their attention on Akranes’ harbor and the “Cement Fields,” which judging by their tourism site’s photos, may be exactly what it sounds like. It’s not yet certain if any of the actors will be filming on site, as it may just be used as a backdrop for a segment of the film. The production will visit two other locations in the country, in order to pull off the “largest explosion ever in Iceland,” which sounds about right for this movie franchise’s goal of upping the spectacle with each new installment.
While we expect that there are plans to top even that insane Abu Dhabi skyscraper-jumping scene from Furious 7, the newest sequel may not be all about car chases and cement field detonations. Director F. Gary Gray, fresh off his successful and critically acclaimed film Straight Outta Compton, says he’s determined to make a Fast & Furious movie that audiences won’t feel is just “more of the same.” He’s hoping to work on the character development and narrative as much as the action-packed scenes we’ve come to expect.
“You amp up everything, you work on the performances, you work on the story, you work on the action; it’s just not one thing. Hopefully I bring more to it, that’s part of the point is to bring something different to the franchise while still satisfying what the fans want.”
Along with Diesel, Gray will be working with returning actors Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Eva Mendes, who may be getting her own spinoff movie. With the respectful and moving send-off of the late Paul Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, in Furious 7, it has opened the door to an entirely new direction for the future sequels. Whatever path the filmmakers take these characters down, however, we know we’re still going to get crazy entertaining stunts and for Fast 8’s, giant Icelandic explosions.
Fast 8 will hit U.S. theaters on April 17th, 2017.