With the April 2017 release date looming for Fast 8/Fast & Furious 8, filming is already underway for the latest installment in the lucrative The Fast and the Furious franchise. The series has toured the world over its 16-year history, and Fast 8 continues that globe-trotting tradition. Plans for the new sequel include shooting scenes in Cuba, and the crew is currently filming some explosive sequences in Iceland.
While most of the films have had their home base in Los Angeles, this year star Vin Diesel promised they’d be returning to the Fast and the Furious series’ roots. The inspiration for the very first movie came from an article about street racers in New York City, so Fast 8 will be heading to the Big Apple for much of its story.
Many productions shoot generic street scenes in other U.S. cities or even Canada, and Fast 8 will be no exception. The newest sequel will be setting up shop in Cleveland, Ohio, likely using the city to sub in for New York action sequences, as the Tobey Maguire-led Spider-Man 3 did back in 2006. While Cleveland’s film commission president Ivan Schwarz said it wasn’t quite official, Cleveland.com confirmed the filmmakers are already seeking out local crew members and vendors for the shoot.
The Cleveland site will be hosting Fast 8’s second unit, which likely means the local residents will be seeing stuntmen and stand-ins, rather than the lead actors. Principal photography is set for May, with the cameras rolling in both Atlanta and New York. Along with Diesel, director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) will be working with returning cast members Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and possibly Eva Mendes. Charlize Theron is also in talks to star as the sequel’s villain.
While it’s fairly easy to breeze through the Lincoln Tunnel at 2am, the City That Never Sleeps is known for its huge crowds and taxicab-packed traffic jams. It makes sense to film some scenes in a city with a much smaller population. Once it hits the big screen, the vast majority of viewers will be focused on the exhilarating race sequence or flipping, burning muscle cars in Fast 8, rather than noting that a particular office building in the background isn’t actually in New York.
It’s clear the Fast 8 production is going to be another big-scale project, with an ever-expanding list of cities taking part in Gray’s attempt to keep the franchise “fresh.” While the last performance of the late Paul Walker likely drew in even more fans to Furious 7, it’s a good bet that an action-packed Fast 8 will be raking in impressive box office numbers as well. Universal Pictures is definitely banking on it, with Fast and Furious 9 and 10 already on the release schedule.
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.