After years of relishing in street race culture, the Fast and Furious franchise has made a very successful shift into high-octane action thrills (with cars). Even the least successful franchise installments, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fast and Furious, both performed well at the box office, before the enormous jump in ticket sales that came along with Fast Five (to the tune of $626 million globally) – and continued with Fast & Furious 6 ($788 million worldwide). As a result, anticipation is at an all time high for the series’ next installment, Furious 7 – which is set to tie the entire Fast and Furious storyline together.
Still, it hasn’t been an easy road for Furious 7 – after the untimely passing of series star Paul Walker. Throughout the years, the cast has remained close, making Walker’s death an even heavier blow to the production than it might have otherwise been. Nevertheless, Vin Diesel and the rest of the Fast and Furious franchise cast doubled-down and helped director James Wan complete work on the film – with the aid of Walker’s brothers as a stand-ins. Now, with only two short months before release, Universal Pictures is giving fans another sneak peek at the film – during Super Bowl XLIX.
A six-second teaser for the new trailer, that dropped earlier in the week, focused heavily on fast-moving cars catching airtime off jump ramps – reminding viewers that much of what they see onscreen in a Fast and Furious film was shot live on set. Fortunately, the complete Super Bowl trailer also includes never before seen (CGI) footage. However, as with the film’s first full length trailer, the emphasis (above all else) is on proving, once again, that the cast and crew are going to up the automobatic ante – at least one more time.
Sadly, the trailer is still short on details of the core storyline – leaving viewers to wonder exactly how the filmmakers intend to explain Brian O’Conner’s retirement from the series (not to mention how much of Walker is actually in the final cut of the movie). After all, following the actor’s fatal accident, Wan and Universal Pictures were forced to make dramatic changes to the script – causing many fans to wonder if, even with the help of CGI and Walker’s siblings, Caleb and Cody, if Universal Pictures will successfully close out the character with an arc that does O’Conner and Walker justice.
After all, from the very beginning, The Fast and the Furious franchise has been about family – a theme that has become even more poignant as the actors and filmmakers have grown closer over the years. That said, assuming that Wan manages to overcome unprecedented challenges to deliver a strong box office performance for the latest Fast and Furious chapter, fans can rest assured that even though Walker may be gone, the series appears poised for several more installments – as new rumors suggest that another three movies are already planned for production.
Who will return and how exactly those movies will fit into the larger story has yet to be revealed but, with or without the main cast, there’s plenty of reason to expect that Universal Pictures will continue on their current “Mission: Impossible on Wheels” approach.
Furious 7 releases in theaters April 3, 2015.