As we have already discussed, the Fast & Furious franchise is, in many ways, a superhero franchise that rivals the biggest titles in the genre - and like any good modern-day superhero franchise, they aren't waiting to make plans for the continuation of their universe, they are setting it up early and teasing it to fans now.
Franchise star Vin Diesel certainly has his head in the game right now; aside from juggling franchises like F&F and Riddick, he's entered into the Marvel Movie Universe, playing CGI tree-alien Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, with a possible headlining role waiting down the line. Clearly Vin has been taking notes on how Camp Marvel handles business, because he recently talked up not only Fast & Furious 7, but dropped hints about what could be coming in Fast & Furious 8, as well.
As Metro UK quotes from Diesel's talk with Extra: "Kurt Russell was the perfect person to introduce in 7 to play out the eighth storyline that everyone is going to go crazy on." That's confirmation that not only is Russell joining F&F7 as previously reported, he's also in for part 8, as well (which is apparently already being planned out). Lot of info from such a small quote.
We still don't know who Russell is playing - though from the seeds Diesel is planting, he's probably going to be some sort of overarching figure (we'd say either ranking law enforcement agent or crimeboss - or both) whose presence in the story expands in the same way Dwayne Johnson's character Luke Hobbs did. Since it's Kurt Russell we're talking about, we don't expect there's going to be much complaint from fans - and maybe some holdouts will be lured to the franchise as well.
That brings new additions to the F&F7 cast up to Russell, martial arts movie star Tony Jaa (Ong Bak) - and reportedly Games of Thrones actress Nathalie Emmanuel (Daenerys Targaryen's translator) has been added, too. Rumor had it we could also see UFC star Ronda Rousey join the cast, though that hasn't been concretely confirmed yet.
With these new additions and returning headliners like Jason Statham, Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker and the rest of the usual F&F crew (perhaps some Tokyo Drift guests as well?), it's safe to say that newcomer director James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious 2) is working with what might be the most high-profile cast in the blockbuster movie business, right now. Servicing everyone will be tough (pause for snickering...) but if anyone can get it done, we're betting that a master of sequencing and execution like Wan can. Not to mention, his "gritty '70s revenge thriller" approach has us very intrigued. That kind of throwback vibe made The Conjuring a refreshingly welcome vintage experience.
Finally, while all this casting news - and apparent plans for an eighth film - are swirling the Net, Wan and Co. are actually just starting to film Fast & Furious 7 - which franchise actor Tyrese Gibson (Roman) commemorated with this Instagram video:
Fast & Furious 7 will be in theaters on July 11, 2014 - with Fast & Furious 8 sure to follow soon thereafter.