Fast Five doesn’t hit U.S. theaters until this Friday, but it’s already cleaning up at the international box office. The new Fast and the Furious film actually managed to outgross Thor in Australia over the weekend, while also getting off to a better start overseas than any of its predecessors. Hence why Fast and the Furious 6 (which is tentatively being referred to as Fast Six) looks to be all but a sure thing at this point.
Series star Vin Diesel and producer Neal H. Moritz have discussed their plans for a sixth Fast and the Furious pic before – and now there are some additional details about the flick, which franchise staple writer Chris Morgan has already begun working on.
Universal chairman Adam Fogelson offered the following bit to Deadline in a recent interview:
“The question putting ‘Fast Five’ and ‘Fast Six’ together for us was: Can we take it out of being a pure car culture movie and into being a true action franchise in the spirit of those great heist films made 10 or 15 years ago?”
Early word on Fast Five is that it does essentially transform the street car racing franchise into a heist series – like that of Ocean’s Eleven, albeit with more explosive vehicle chase sequences and shattering the laws of physics in general (not per se in a bad way, mind you).
Here is the logic behind that move, according to Fogelson:
“So if these movies were still about street racing, there was probably a ceiling on how many people would buy tickets. We wanted to see if we could raise it out of about racing and make car driving ability just a part of the movie, like those great chases in ‘The French Connection’, ‘The Bourne Identity’, ‘The Italian Job’.”
The Fast and the Furious series has certainly been an unusual ride (couldn’t resist) so far. When the third entry in the franchise – Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - hit theaters in 2006, it didn’t reach the same levels of box office success as its predecessors (especially in the U.S.) and seemed to indicate that these movies would soon be coming to an end. Skip ahead to 2009 when Fast & Furious hit the scene, and suddenly the franchise appeared more popular than ever. Now there may even be a new trilogy on the way.
While no one would argue that these movies are grand examples of cinematic artistry, they seem (to me) to be overall harmless bits of fun. They feature (by Hollywood’s standards) a surprisingly diverse cast that includes certain fan favorites like Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and now Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as well; not to mention that director Justin Lin’s preference for using practical effects instead of CGI has given the more recent Fast films their own unique flavor.
Transitioning into the heist genre with the next Fast and the Furious flick seems like a natural enough move for the franchise. If nothing else, I suppose it would encourage a bit more originality on the part of studio heads – and in this age of reboots, remakes, and requels (read: rebooting prequels or sequels) that’s definitely something to covet.
We’ll keep you posted on the status of Fast Six (or whatever it ends up being called) In the meantime, be sure to keep an eye out for our Fast Five review this Friday.