Director James Wan has released two extremely profitable horror movies over the past two months (including, The Conjuring), now that his and co-writer Leigh Whannell’s sequel Insidious: Chapter 2 (which cost $5 million) has climbed atop the U.S. box office with an opening weekend take of $41 million. The filmmaker isn’t taking a break to celebrate his dual box office victories, but has instead begun shooting the blockbuster Fast & Furious 7 for a theatrical debut next summer.

The seventh Fast and the Furious movie picks up with Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew members left standing after the events in Fast & Furious 6 – in addition to that installment’s mid-credits sequence – as they pursue a vendetta against what may be their most dangerous opponent yet; someone who, as it happens, is thirsty for revenge too. The new cast additions this round include Jason Statham, Tony Jaa, Djimon Hounsou and Kurt Russell is what Diesel has described as a role that will lead to bigger and better things in Fast & Furious 8.

Fast & Furious 7 will take Dom and his fellow vehicular-racing enthusiasts back to their Los Angeles home turf, but for the time being production is taking place in Georgia. On the first day of filming, Tyrese Gibson (who plays fast-talker Roman) posted a short video online from the movie’s outdoor set in the hot and humid Southern U.S.; thereafter, Diesel used his ultra-popular Facebook page (47 million followers and counting) to unveil the first behind-the-scenes pics from the shoot:

[Click for Full-Sized Version]

SPOILERS FOR FAST & FURIOUS 6 AHEAD!

Wan’s Fast & Furious chapter will also be taking U.S. moviegoers across the pond to Tokyo, as the third installment (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) showed that Dom travels to Japan not long after Han’s (Sung Kang) death – since revealed to be the nasty handiwork of Statham’s character, who’s all but confirmed to be the older brother to Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) from Furious 6.

Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) seems a bit worse for the wear in the second of the two F&F7 images, while Diesel as Dom appears to be in a somber and serious mood (note the emphasis on his necklace – a symbol for his personal values). That could be a subtle clue as to what point in the screen story – once again written by Chris Morgan – Dom and his family wind up in the South during their (Battle? Full-out war?) against Statham; though, these pics fail to shed any light on which of the new Fast and Furious cast members will be on Dom’s side (?), and which ones seem lined up to be more foe than friend.

END SPOILERS

Insidious: Chapter 2 has demonstrated that Wan’s storytelling abilities – especially where it concerns building upon and expanding the narrative and themes in a pre-established property – have only gotten better with time and experience. That bodes well for his efforts to deliver a Fast & Furious movie that works as both a self-contained thrill ride and a logical extension of the conflict set in motion in the sixth installment.

Furthermore, if Wan really is serious about leaving his days of playing in the horror genre sandbox behind him (until further notice, anyway), then he’s already taking steps in the right direction (as far as accomplishing that goal is concerned). Be sure and drop us a line in the comments, with regard to your own thoughts and feelings about the path the filmmaker has decided to travel (now that he’s reached a cross-roads in his career); not to mention, what you make of the story for Fast & Furious 7, based on the few details that’ve been made available so far.

Fast & Furious 7 opens in U.S. theaters on July 11th, 2014.

Source: Vin Diesel