Furious 7 is currently breaking global box office records – not just for the Fast and the Furious series, but for movies in general. We’ve heard rumblings about Fast & Furious 8 here and there, but thus far the franchise’s producers (as well as studio backer Universal Pictures) have refrained from making any official announcements on the matter.
That will change soon, though, as series producer Neal H. Moritz recently indicated that if Fast & Furious 8 does happen (wink, wink), then it won’t be long before we hear about it. Meanwhile, Vin Diesel has revealed that Furious 7 was originally envisioned as being the first chapter in a new Fast and the Furious film trilogy – and while the tragic death of star Paul Walker affected those plans, the odds are still in favor of both an eight and ninth installment being made (potentially serving as a two-part conclusion to the franchise).
[UPDATE: Wonder no longer – Fast & Furious 8 has an official 2017 release date!]
Collider‘s Steve “Frosty” Weintraub caught up with Moritz at the ongoing 2015 CinemaCon in Las Vegas, where the discussion between the pair eventually turned to Fast & Furious 8. Moritz has the following to stay, when prodded on the subject:
Well, we’re definitely talking about it, but we’re also kind of all said to ourselves, “Let’s relish this moment of Furious 7. Let’s relish it, and there will be plenty of time to talk about Fast 8.”
It’s all but a given that Fast & Furious 8 is going to happen, but it’s also best to remember: Furious 7 hasn’t even been playing around the world for a month yet. The Fast and the Furious series has become a massive commercial success by expanding its universe via a forward-thinking method similar to the one Marvel Studios has used to build its own cinematic world (hiring big-name actors, teasing future films via mid-credits scenes). Still, the Fast and the Furious brand is strong enough that its makers can now press down on the brakes (pun intended) and consider what their next best move would be.
Moritz also informed Collider that Furious 7 director James Wan might not be back to helm Fast & Furious 8, given the potential scheduling conflict – what with Wan already being onboard to direct The Conjuring 2 (for a Summer 2016 launch) and circling DC comic book adaptations like Aquaman (which is scheduled for 2018). Wan said the Conjuring sequel is a “holiday” for him – after the stress of working on Furious 7 following Walker’s death – but he’s given no indication that he wouldn’t like to return to the Fast and the Furious series at some point down the line.
Justin Lin, who helmed four of the six Fast and the Furious movies before Furious 7, has reportedly been courted to helm the next two Furious installments – but like Wan, there’s a potential scheduling conflict, as Lin will be working on Star Trek 3 (arriving July 2016) for much of the next twelve months. Between the pair, though, Lin would arguably be the better choice to bring back for Fast & Furious 8; not only because of his history with the series, but also because he’s proven better at handling the series’ human drama that Wan has.
Again, though, we should soon learn more about Fast & Furious 8 and what the plan is for the franchise, hereon out. In the meantime, what we have heard about the next film – that it will partly take place in New York and expand the role of Kurt Russell’s “Mr. Nobody” – combined with rumors (see: Eva Mendes maybe returning as Agent Fuentes) has been keeping us looking forward to another helping of Fast & Furious goodness.
Furious 7 is now playing in theaters. We’ll keep you posted on development of Fast & Furious 8.