James Wan Approaching 'Fast & Furious 7' as a 'Gritty '70s Revenge Thriller'

Paul Walker Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel in Fast & Furious 6




Wan, in general, is best known for investing his time and effort towards the task of scaring moviegoers' collective socks off, which is why he came as a surprise choice to replace Justin Lin - who's been behind the steering wheel for the Fast and the Furious movies since Tokyo Drift - as director for the upcoming Fast & Furious 7. The filmmaker has spoken before about the challenges of joining the underground racing-turned crime-thriller franchise in its seventh lap, which include having to find a way to top the sixth installment (in terms of emotional stakes, thematic qualities and the ludicrous, but spectacular, car driving stunts).

In a more recent interview, Wan revealed how the Fast & Furious 7 story managed to grab his attention, while providing an outline of his vision for the film (for those who do not remember: producer Neal H. Mortiz previously said that it was Wan's pitch that convinced him and his peers that the low-budget horror filmmaker was the right man for the director's job).

James Wan Talks Fast & Furious 7

Here is what he told The Playlist:

“I really like the theme of this next one that we're going with. I can't really talk about it, but I like the theme; it's one that I really relate to. Then there's the drive of Number Seven, which was set up at the end of Number Six, which is a classic revenge story."

Fast & Furious 6 concluded with Dom (Vin Diesel) and his extended family reunited in Los Angeles, having earned an official pardon for their past crimes and misdeeds after stopping - and, in the process, killing - criminal profiteer Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Thereafter, the movie's mid-credits scene revealed that Han's (Sung Kang) death in Tokyo Drift was no accident, but was instead an act of retaliation from a man (Jason Statham) who is almost certainly Shaw's brother.

Presumably, Chris Morgan's Fast & Furious 7 script will build on that foundation, in order to continue developing the franchise's overarching themes - concerning the contemporary definition of kinship and moral/ethical responsibilities in the 21st century - while bringing the action sequences and exotic set pieces that are part of what people love about this franchise.

Kevin Bacon in Death Sentence
Kevin Bacon in 'Death Sentence'

You can better imagine how the "classic revenge story" in Fast & Furious 7 would appeal to Wan, after his previous work on the film Death Sentence. That tale of a father-turned vigilante (Kevin Bacon) is a throwback to 1970s cinema - Charles Bronson's original Death Wish movie being the obvious example for comparison - and it sounds like Wan recognizes there are parallels between the issues he dealt with in Death Sentence and those in the seventh Fast & Furious movie.

To quote the filmmaker directly:

"I'm a big [genre] fan, so that's how I'm approaching ['Fast & Furious 7']: I'm looking at it like a gritty, '70s revenge thriller, but one that still fits into the 'Fast and Furious' series."

Diesel has confirmed that Fast & Furious 7 will partly take place in the City of Angels, which is a fitting setting for a gritty '70s homage that still feels like a proper Fast & Furious movie. Indeed, the seventh installment looks to bring things full-circle story-wise and thematically by re-embracing the neo-Noir aspect from the very first Fast and the Furious installment (back in 2001) - and, therefore, giving closure to the characters by giving their longtime personal journeys a satisfying payoff.

... Well, okay, until either Fast & Furious 8 or the reboot anyway...


Fast & Furious 6 is expected to become available on DVD and Blu-ray by Fall 2013.

Fast & Furious 7 will be released in U.S. theaters on July 11th, 2014.

Source: The Playlist

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