James Wan Approaching ‘Fast & Furious 7′ as a ‘Gritty ’70s Revenge Thriller’

Published 2 years ago by

fast furious 6 diesel walker johnson James Wan Approaching Fast & Furious 7 as a Gritty 70s Revenge Thriller




The Conjuring – the latest offering from Saw and Insidious director James Wan – opens in theaters this Friday. Early buzz is that the film is Wan’s freakiest addition to the horror genre to date, but also that the ghost story (which was “inspired by real-events”) will have little trouble beating the competition to walk away with the title for ‘Scariest Movie of 2013.’

Wan, in general, is best known for investing his time and effort towards the task of scaring moviegoers’ collective socks off, which is why he came as a surprise choice to replace Justin Lin – who’s been behind the steering wheel for the Fast and the Furious movies since Tokyo Drift – as director for the upcoming Fast & Furious 7. The filmmaker has spoken before about the challenges of joining the underground racing-turned crime-thriller franchise in its seventh lap, which include having to find a way to top the sixth installment (in terms of emotional stakes, thematic qualities and the ludicrous, but spectacular, car driving stunts).

In a more recent interview, Wan revealed how the Fast & Furious 7 story managed to grab his attention, while providing an outline of his vision for the film (for those who do not remember: producer Neal H. Mortiz previously said that it was Wan’s pitch that convinced him and his peers that the low-budget horror filmmaker was the right man for the director’s job).

james wan fast furious 7 James Wan Approaching Fast & Furious 7 as a Gritty 70s Revenge Thriller

Here is what he told The Playlist:

“I really like the theme of this next one that we’re going with. I can’t really talk about it, but I like the theme; it’s one that I really relate to. Then there’s the drive of Number Seven, which was set up at the end of Number Six, which is a classic revenge story.”

Fast & Furious 6 concluded with Dom (Vin Diesel) and his extended family reunited in Los Angeles, having earned an official pardon for their past crimes and misdeeds after stopping – and, in the process, killing – criminal profiteer Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Thereafter, the movie’s mid-credits scene revealed that Han’s (Sung Kang) death in Tokyo Drift was no accident, but was instead an act of retaliation from a man (Jason Statham) who is almost certainly Shaw’s brother.

Presumably, Chris Morgan’s Fast & Furious 7 script will build on that foundation, in order to continue developing the franchise’s overarching themes – concerning the contemporary definition of kinship and moral/ethical responsibilities in the 21st century – while bringing the action sequences and exotic set pieces that are part of what people love about this franchise.

death sentence kevin bacon James Wan Approaching Fast & Furious 7 as a Gritty 70s Revenge Thriller

Kevin Bacon in ‘Death Sentence’

You can better imagine how the “classic revenge story” in Fast & Furious 7 would appeal to Wan, after his previous work on the film Death Sentence. That tale of a father-turned vigilante (Kevin Bacon) is a throwback to 1970s cinema – Charles Bronson’s original Death Wish movie being the obvious example for comparison – and it sounds like Wan recognizes there are parallels between the issues he dealt with in Death Sentence and those in the seventh Fast & Furious movie.

To quote the filmmaker directly:

“I’m a big [genre] fan, so that’s how I’m approaching ['Fast & Furious 7']: I’m looking at it like a gritty, ’70s revenge thriller, but one that still fits into the ‘Fast and Furious’ series.”

Diesel has confirmed that Fast & Furious 7 will partly take place in the City of Angels, which is a fitting setting for a gritty ’70s homage that still feels like a proper Fast & Furious movie. Indeed, the seventh installment looks to bring things full-circle story-wise and thematically by re-embracing the neo-Noir aspect from the very first Fast and the Furious installment (back in 2001) – and, therefore, giving closure to the characters by giving their longtime personal journeys a satisfying payoff.

… Well, okay, until either Fast & Furious 8 or the reboot anyway…


Fast & Furious 6 is expected to become available on DVD and Blu-ray by Fall 2013.

Fast & Furious 7 will be released in U.S. theaters on July 11th, 2014.

Source: The Playlist

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  1. It’d be a shame to come this far in the franchise and then mess it up because they didn’t want to give Lin time. But we’ll see. Wan is a capable director.

  2. In other words, the “Quentin Tarantino approach.”

    • …nah man they are going all Nolan with it…


      • Haha. A Nolanesque FnF! Now that would be something “out there.”

  3. Not familiar with Wan or his work but with such a quick turn around and 7 being a continuation of 6 a lot of the story beats and action set peices most likely have already been worked out.

    It’s just a case of the production designer doing his job and the actors getting the lines right, this late in the game can’t really see how much of his own asthetic Wan can bring to 7.

    Maybe 8 will turn into a modern day Christine with the 440RT Charger coming back and eating everyone lol

  4. Worried But Still Excited

  5. I liked Fast more when they changed it to be more of a “heist” franchise from a “racing” one. I expected that in Fast 6 but they went away from it, making it more of a good guy vs. bad guy type.

    Sounds like it will be more of the same with Statham as the big bad. Part of the appeal was how the Fast crew used cars to pull off certain things so I hope they build some of that into Fast 7. I guess maybe because Fast 6 has such a weak storyline but we’ll see.

  6. Good to know the new man behind the wheel is excited about the project, i heard the last two were really fun i didn’t get to see them but i think Wan sounds like a good guy for it even though his resume sounds very far away from Fast and Furious genre movies. I’m seeing this just to see Stratham take on Diesel and Johnson thats gonna be awesome!!!!!!!!!

  7. I thought Jason Statham will be the main villain

  8. Greaaaat. -face palm- More dribble from one note actors.

  9. Oops wrong post

  10. what a terrible series of films

  11. I haven’t seen The Conjuring but I think Evil Dead will give some good competition for the scariest film of 2013, so The Conjuring will have more the just a “little trouble” walking away with the title.

    • The Evil Dead was awesome but I didn’t think it was that scary. Based on some of the sites that I trust in judgement they are saying this is going to be pretty good in the scare factor and James Wan really pays tribute to the horror films from the past(Poltergeist, The Shining, and The Amytiville Horror). One person even said, “It’s very difficult to find a modern horror film that doesn’t make viewers laugh at it for even a few minutes, it is the curse of the “we’ve seen it all” audience, but The Conjuring knows you’ve seen it all and still manages to deliver some of the best scares I’ve seen in years”. I am excited to check this film out

      • Interesting. If it’s like that then I should check it out as well, since many modern horror films are either torture porn (e.g. Saw series), not as scary as people make it seem and actually on the boring side (e.g. Paranormal Activity) or have a few decent scares but overall not as good as I had hoped (Mama, Insidious).

        Evil Dead was the first modern horror film in a few years that I wasn’t disappointed with and also delivered some good scares – especially in surround sound :).

        • Evil Dead was the first horror film in recent years that actually delivered. With what I have been reading online, all the flaws from Insidious that Wan had, he improved which is a good sign. I thought Insidious was a good “starter” film for a director and it looks like he is going for old fashion scare along with a decent story which will be nice for a change.

  12. So both Dom and Shaw will be out for revenge gonna be pretty sick. Just hope they have at least some racing

  13. Still not sold on the new director. I really hope they don’t close the franchise with a lower quality movie than the past three.

  14. So will this take place after the ending of Tokyo Drift or during

    • Since the post credits scene showed the ending of tokyo drift, I would guess after (though they may have some flash backs to show what lead to the ending).

  15. a fast and furious horror movie sounds great :]mang

  16. I hope 7 is the last because they are almost finally full circle with Tokyo drift. Maybe that last scene in Tokyo drift with Vin Diesel is the last of the whole franchise. than again it would be cool to see something after that like how the drift goes. Seeing Dom hold his own in an AMerican car against Sean

  17. I wouldn’t mind them bringing it down smaller scale like the original. I’m not sure everyone else will be on board with that. As long as Vin is attached I’ll keep watching! Can’t wait for the Statham addition.

  18. They will be fine as long as they keep to their three tenets: 1) Jump off of any moving vehicle onto any other moving vehicle 2) Keep the dialogue as stupid as possible 3) Make sure all actors stand on the bottom of a slope when Vin Diesel stands at the top of the slope.