Part of the secret to how The Fast & The Furious went from being just another fairly-popular B-movie series in the 2000s to a global franchise on the cutting edge of international popular culture is that it actually started to become “about” something; namely a cast of diverse characters carving out a new post-millennial concept of ideals like family, legacy and identity. Its main characters, to the degree that they receive detailed backstories at all, tend to be loners with complicated family histories; and they come together to forge new versions of the same – while also driving cars very, very fast.
So it’s almost appropriate that the franchise’s eight installment, titled Fast 8/Fast & Furious 8, has found its newest recruit in the form of an actor who brings some of that same thematic weight with him: Scott Eastwood, the son of legendary actor/director Clint Eastwood.
The actor, known for his rugged physicality and uncanny resemblance to his father, has (according to Deadline) now closed a deal to appear in Fast 8, as the film looks to head into full production now – having also closed a long in-development agreement for Charlize Theron to join the cast in a yet unrevealed role (possibly the movie’s central villain). Eastwood’s role, described as a “new character” created by Fast 8 screenwriter Chris Morgan, is also unknown, as is the storyline that will bring these new additions into contact with the returning Fast & Furious cast.
The casting comes as part of a growing demand for the model/actor, who first caught the public eye while working under the name “Scott Reeves” (his mother’s name) with a series of small roles in increasingly larger Hollywood productions (including several of his father’s films) before drawing major attention as the co-lead of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” music video. In addition to prominent roles in Oliver Stone’s Snowden and the futuristic cop thriller Overdrive, he’ll next be seen in the DC Comics villain team-up feature Suicide Squad in a role that is still being kept secret – though past rumors have suggested that he could be playing anyone from Deathstroke to Nightwing.
F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, which also starred Theron and returning bad guy Jason Statham) will direct Fast 8, which is expected to begin a trilogy-length story arc for the Fast & Furious characters which will effectively end the franchise with its tenth installment. However, spin-off series for individual castmembers are already being mentioned as possible ways to extended the brand, with Eva Mendes’ FBI Agent character from 2 Fast 2 Furious (and a return cameo at the end of Fast Five) being touted as a potential early example thereof.
Fast & Furious 8
(which is still without a formal title) has been shooting in Cleveland since last month, though the city is rumored to actually be doubling for parts of New York in the final film – a location star/producer Vin Diesel has long expressed interest in incorporating into the series globe-trotting scope. The film will also shoot in Iceland, where FX technicians are aiming to stage largest controlled explosion in that particular country’s history.
Fast 8 opens in U.S. theaters on April 17th, 2017, followed by Fast and Furious 9 on April 19th, 2019, and Fast and Furious 10 on April 2nd, 2021.