With more than half a dozen stars (admittedly, some more past their prime than others) joining forces for the upcoming Fast and Furious 6, the series that started in response to the popularity of import car culture looks poised to match even Harry Potter's staying power.
In case fans were worried that the sixth installment would be the one that strayed a bit too far from the formula, new photos from two of the leading men on set show that the film will still be focused on what made it popular to begin with: guns, cars, and fighting.
After successfully pulling off the shift from street racing to heist film with last year's Fast Five, director Justin Lin is taking things even farther into the realm of caper films, putting the assembled team of street racers' thieving skills to use across Europe. The exact plot of the film - tentatively referred to as Fast Six - or that of its sequel have yet to be explained in-depth. But a set of official images (courtesy of mainstay Vin Diesel) and a candid snapshot from newer star Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson do provide a few hints for the analytical among us.
The first photo comes courtesy of Johnson's Twitter account, after snapping a set photo with the caption: "On set. FAST 6. Take 1: Rock throws man into table so hard entire ceiling crashes down. #MyBad."
Unfortunately, the 'thrown man' in question isn't pictured, so fans will need to wait until the film is released to see how such a poorly-constructed ceiling is explained in-fiction.
Not to be outdone, Vin Diesel has released two higher-quality publicity photos via his Facebook page, captioned "Proud of Our team. P.s. You really see the difference in the finished product when everyone, from crew to cast is striving to make magic. Blessed." The images not only show just how positive Diesel is about the current production, but also categorize one of the photos as "from the trailer," implying that early footage may be on its way before long. Take a look:
The photos confirm that Dominic Torreto (Diesel) is sticking with the white t-shirt and jeans look, so it appears some things will never change. The photos may confirm little that wasn't already assumed - cars shall be driven, guns shall be held threateningly - but a few of the finer points are a bit more intriguing. For starters, the official photo shows Toretto, Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and Agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) collected in a single room, without guns pointed at one another's heads.
The closing moments of Fast Five may have shown that Hobbs' character wasn't as bound by jurisdiction or morality as most federal agents, but he still wasn't about to let O'Conner or Torreto off the hook. If they are capable of carrying on a conversation at all, it would seem that the stakes have been raised for both the ever-growing Torreto family and those hunting them. And if the set The Rock destroys with a single man-throw is, as it appears to be, an interrogation room, then who knows how far his character is willing to go.
The Rock's character obviously needed some more development to justify his newfound role in the series, since it was partly his enthusiasm for Fast Five that convinced director Justin Lin the franchise still had legs. The still-living Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) is likely behind whatever plot twists writer Chris Morgan has come up with, as her character is one of the few that could pull the gang of racers-turned-master-criminals from their happy retirement. Conflict and motivation will be in great supply for Fast Six, with MMA fighter Gina Carano (Haywire) signed on as Hobbs' new partner, and the likes of Luke Evans (The Hobbit, Immortals) and Joe Taslim (The Raid: Redemption) acting as new villains.
Diesel has commented in the past that the personal relationships between the characters fans have come to love will be a priority for the next two films, so hopefully the first trailer will give some insight into which grudges - or presumed lost loves - will be dealt with first. Not to mention, we still need an official reveal of the title for what we can only now refer to as Fast Six.
Fast Six (the unofficial title) opens in U.S. theaters on May 24th, 2013.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
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