The Fast & Furious franchise has become one of the most curious in all of Hollywood. Beginning life as 2001 small budget film about the world of illegal street racing, the first movie became a sleeper hit and spawned a sequel in 2003. It also helped launch the careers of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel as leading men and action stars. As both actors moved on to other projects, however, 2006's relatively standalone Tokyo Drift barely made back its budget and seemed to prove the love affair had ended. What followed was one of film's most surprising comebacks.
In 2009, the original stars returned to the franchise with Fast & Furious. The name, almost identical to the original, was hardly a mistake. It marked the return to what made the original great: fast cars and practical effects. Since then, three more sequels have followed with the eigth film in the franchise, The Fate of the Furious, coming in April and helping to make the series the new James Bond. In a landscape of action cinema dominated by CGI and mostly white casts, the Fast & Furious series has proven that a film composed of practical effects and featuring a diverse cast can make big money. The films have been especially big hits gloabaly, with the franchise's earnings currently at $3.9 billion worldwide.
Now, Universal and the team behind the films will be bringing those practical effects to the people. THR is announcing that a stunt show called Fast & Furious Live will be hitting arenas around the country starting in 2018. The performances will be produced by the same team handling the Top Gear Live shows, and will let audiences experience the car-centered action at the core of the Fast & Furious franchise. Given that the series is Universal's biggest hit, it's no surprise to see them monopolize on it in this way. Not only does it stay true to the ethos of the film, but it gives fans a new way to experience the action of the movies.
The stunt show will join another live Universal venture on its way, a themed ride at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. Both experiences are sure to entice fans waiting for the next installment of the franchise, and given the international appeal of the films, global versions of both are sure to follow. Of course, just because the films have been a success, doesn't mean these other ventures will be as well.
The ride will likely do fine, as it's just one part of a slew of hit attractions at Universal and Islands of Adventure, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and a new ride based on Kong: Skull Island. But the live tour will ask moviegoers to shell out what's sure to be a considerable amount of cash to see street racing stunts performed in a closed-off arena. It will hardly replicate an actual race, but as the films have moved more towards bombastic action, it could mimic monster truck rallies in its approach.
Whether fans will be keen on Fast & Furious Live tour, we'll have to wait and see.
- The Fate of the Furious (2017) release date: Apr 14, 2017