Most seemingly endless film franchises end up facing declining profits and steadily harsher critical reception with each subsequent film. This is precisely why no one predicted the phenomenal success of Fast Five. With a box office take of $626 million worldwide, the film - which saw Fast and the Furious mainstays Paul Walker and Vin Diesel face off against Dwayne Johnson - was by far the highest-grossing and most critically praised entry in the 11-year-old franchise.
To absolutely no one's surprise, Diesel soon revealed that sixth and seventh films were already in development. Though the tentatively-titled Fast Six (or, alternatively, Fast and Furious 6) is slated for release next summer, its plot largely remains a mystery. We already know that Gina Carano (Haywire) will join the cast as Johnson's partner, and Luke Evans and Joe Taslim (The Raid: Redemption) will appear as villains.
While there's nothing particularly revelatory about the pics, the presence of a tank certainly raises a few eyebrows. Perhaps Hobbs (Johnson) calls in government reinforcements in his pursuit of Brian (Walker), Dominic (Diesel) and the gang.
Moreover, rapper/actor Chris "Ludacris" Bridges - who stars as Tej - made an intriguing statement to CNN, comparing Fast Six to another hotly anticipated production. Here's what he had to say:
"It kind of takes up from where we left off [in 'Fast Five'], and there is a whole new batch of surprises. The crew that is in 'Fast Five,' we are going up against a rival crew, so it's almost like Justice League up against the Legion of Doom."
While no one expects Diesel or Johnson to develop super powers in the new film, the comparison to Warner Bros. in-development Justice League may be warranted, especially if it pits established characters against each other. Thanks to a mid-credits scene in the last film, fans know that the plot of Fast Six will involve the return of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who was presumed dead in Fast & Furious (2009). Gven the above statement by Ludacris, it stands to reason that Letty may be a part (or even the leader) of this rival gang, potentially pitting her against her friends. This is all purely speculation, but it certainly adds a new spin on the series' familiar "wheels," if you catch my "drift."
Regardless of how the series brings Rodriguez - who currently appears onscreen in Resident Evil: Retribution - back into the fold, fans should be pleased that the Fast and Furious franchise is sticking with the heist element introduced in Fast Five. If the creative team continues down this path, the series may have quite a bit of (one last pun) "gas" left in it.
What are you hoping to see in Fast Six, Screen Rant readers? Sound off in the comments.
Fast Six speeds into theaters on May 24th, 2013.