Fast Five, the fifth chapter in the Fast and the Furious franchise continues to pack on the star power. Rapper-turned-quasi-actor Ludacris recently Tweeted the following message, which strongly indicates that he will be involved in the film:

“Just landed in Puerto Rico. Shooting for Fast & Furious 5 is about to be underway…”

If you pause right now, you just might hear the collective groans of the many fans who hoped they would never see Luda behind the wheel again, after his less-than-thrilling turn as “Tej” in the 2003 sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious.

We already knew that Paul Walker and Vin Diesel would be returning as two on-the-run street racers trying to evade the law after the events of the last movie,  Fast & Furious. Soon after that we learned that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was joining the Fast Five cast as a bounty hunter who is tracking Walker and Diesel. More recently we learned that Tyrese would be returning as Roman Pearce, our first real indication that Fast Five will touch upon the storyline of 2 Fast 2 Furious. With Ludacris now seemingly involved with the production, the 2 Fast / Fast Five connection is undeniable.

Of course that connection raises multiple questions, including:

  1. Will Fast Five be set in Miami (where 2 Fast took place)? Will the boys just be “passing through” as they evade the law, or will the new film bring old characters into a new setting?
  2. Will Tyrese and Ludacris have prominent roles (as part of the driving team) or will they just have cameos?
  3. Will Devon Aoki and/or Eva Mendes also reprise their 2 Fast 2 Furious roles?
  4. Will I get to stare at Jordana Brewster in this movie? (Although having Charisma Carpenter onboard works for me…)
  5. Will Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift be shown any cameo love in this new film?

Guess we’ll be finding out the answers to all these questions in the next few months or so…

Now, I’m of that rare, rare, breed of moviegoer who didn’t mind 2 Fast 2 Furious. Was it as guiltily pleasing as the first film? No. But the combination of Tyrese and the usual racing action hijinks made it worth my admission price. I didn’t leave the theater with the same kind of hate that many had for Ludacris’ character – I mean how could I? He was barely a factor in the film!

So hearing Ludacris may be involved with Fast Five isn’t exactly a deal-breaker for me – lets just hope that he either delivers a better performance, or has his screen time kept to the usual minimum. Either way, I’m still onboard to see some crazy action/racing sequences. It even sounds like there might be a slightly coherent story this time around – always a plus.

Fast Five redlines into theaters on June 10, 2011.

Twitter via Latino Review