[MILD SPOILERS for Furious 7 ahead.]
Furious 7 opens in theaters this Friday, but already the conversation about Fast & Furious 8 is underway. Franchise star Vin Diesel is out and about promoting the new Fast and the Furious movie - so, when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Diesel also offered a quick tease of the next adventure to feature Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his family. Skip ahead to the 2:30 mark in the video, for the relevant information.
Diesel, in the above video, reiterates his past comments indicating that the idea is for Kurt Russell to play a larger role in Fast & Furious 8, following his introduction to the Fast universe in Furious 7. The Fast and the Furious series has gone global with its most recent installments - so, all things considered, taking the action to New York for Fast & Furious 8 (as Diesel says is the current plan) seems like a fairly logical move for the franchise.
Urbanized landscapes such as Los Angeles, Tokyo, and London have been used to (quite effectively) stage larger-than-life car racing stunts and/or vehicle-based action sequences in previous Fast and the Furious installments. One just wonders what mad action will ensue, set against the backdrop of The Empire State. It will certainly take some real creativity to top the death-defying spectacle on display in Furious 7.
... But then again, finding new insane things to do with cars has never been a problem for this franchise, has it?
Russell, as indicated before, is very much a supporting player in Furious 7; the main focus is Dom's battle with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the vengeful brother of Owen Shaw. It's also been reported that Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift star Lucas Black is contracted for two additional Fast movies, after his (brief) Furious 7 appearance. So, like Russell, his part in the seventh Fast installment sets the stage for Black to enjoy a bigger role down the line.
Paul Walker's tragic death left many filmgoers wondering if Furious 7 would mark the end of the series, but clearly that's not the game plan. The Fast universe continues to expand and add new players (like Russell and Djimon Hounsou) in director James Wan's Fast & Furious adventure. So, although Walker isn't replaceable, there are several other characters/story threads for future movies to focus on instead - and by most accounts, Furious 7 bids farewell to the Brian O'Connor character in a sincere and touching fashion.
Diesel's statement that Furious 7 is the beginning of a new trilogy also aligns with previous reports on the subject. It's been reported that Justin Lin - who directed the third through sixth Fast and the Furious installments - is lining up to direct a multi-part finale to the franchise. "Multi-part finale" here might not mean "Fast & Furious 8 - Part 1 & 2" so much as just two final movies to conclude Dom and Co.'s story.
Universal will no doubt want to move ahead with Fast & Furious 8, given that Furious 7 is expected to keep the franchise's winning streak at the box office alive. There are obstacles that could impact how it comes together - like, whether or not Lin helms the final two films. However, seeing as Lin will have gotten a nice break from the franchise by the time filming begins (by then having worked on True Detective season two and directed Star Trek 3), he might well agree to return - and take moviegoers on "one last ride", for real this time.
Furious 7 opens in U.S. theaters on April 3rd, 2015. We'll keep you posted on Fast & Furious 8's development.
Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live