Fast & Furious 6 opens in a matter of weeks, but lately we've spent a lot more time discussing the next installment, Fast & Furious 7. That's because Universal has decided to fast-track the movie to begin shooting this summer - with James Wan (Saw) in the driver's seat rather than Justin Lin (who's been directing the franchise since Tokyo Drift) - so it can open in theaters by next year.
Similar to how Fast Five included a mid-credits scene that laid the groundwork for the next installment, Fast & Furious 6 is rumored to feature a credits sequence that introduces the villain for the the seventh movie. We have confirmation that the mystery star in question will appear in Fast & Furious 7; whether or not they will play the antagonist, remains (officially) unverified for the time being.
We're about to enter SPOILER territory for Fast & Furious 6 and 7, so consider yourselves warned...
Michelle Rodriguez will rejoin the ensemble cast in the Fast and the Furious series for the sixth installment, after her character, Letty Ortiz, was presumed to be dead following the events in Fast & Furious; that is, before she made a surprise cameo in the aforementioned Fast Five credits scene (as buildup to Letty's appearance in the next chapter).
While being interviewed by Desde Hollywood about Fast & Furious 6, Rodriguez confirmed the new big-name cast addition to Fast & Furious 7:
“Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, when you see these guys in a room you know they belong together [...] You can see in their eyes that they have gone through a lot [...] I applaud Universal for getting [Statham] on-board!”
Statham has been rumored to join the Fast and the Furious series for a while, going back to when reports were circulating that Universal was planning to shoot both the sixth and seventh installments back-to-back. Indeed, given how Universal is moving so quickly on Fast & Furious 7 - which entered development before Fast & Furious 6 started production - it comes as less of a surprise to learn that the Statham rumor has, likewise, finally panned out.
As for Stath's role in Fast & Furious 7: according to the rumor mill, he will portray Ian Shaw, the brother of Fast & Furious 6 antagonist Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Moreover, the Fast & Furious 6 mid-credits scene is supposedly going to introduce Statham's character, in addition to teasing how this next installment will tie back to certain developments left unresolved in Tokyo Drift.
It's been noted in the past that the Fast and the Furious series has evolved into a property where the badass factor - in terms of the casting, scale and vehicular warfare spectacle - matches, and is beginning to exceed, that of franchises like The Expendables (without the kitsch feel or self-awareness, that is). That trend will only continue in Fast & Furious 6, with cast additions like MMA star Gina Carano and the inclusion of the series' most extravagant stunts to date (see: Dom's crew taking on tanks and aircraft carriers).
Point being, it's near impossible to (reasonably) argue with Rodriguez' claim that Statham is a natural addition to the franchise. You can count us among those who are excited to watch Stath throw down against The Rock and Diesel in Fast & Furious 7.
Fast & Furious 6 opens in regular and select IMAX theaters on May 24th, 2013.
Fast & Furious 7 arrives in theaters on July 11th, 2014.
Source: Desde Hollywood