After The Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker's untimely death in 2013, many thought that Universal's biggest franchise of all time had come to an end. Yet it wasn't long before fellow star Vin Diesel decided that Walker would have wanted the series to continue, saying: "Seven was for Paul, eight is from Paul." And so Fast & Furious 8 was confirmed to move forward with the rest of the original cast returning and reprising their roles.
Keeping with the franchise's penchant for filming in exotic locations, filming began this March in Mývatn, Iceland before continuing in Havana, Cuba in late April and Cleveland, Ohio in May. Most recently, Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez (who play married couple Dominic Toretto and Letty Ortiz) were on hand in Cuba to film scenes for Fast 8, while a secondary shooting team took over the streets of Cleveland. Yet even though the movie has been filming since March, the whole main cast hadn't gotten together until this week.
In a new official behind-the-scenes video of this week's filming (above), Diesel and Rodriguez are joined by Kurt Russell (Mr. Nobody), Dwayne Johnson (Agent Luke Hobbs), Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce), Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey) and Ludacris (Tej Parker) for the first time. Jason Statham (Deckard Shaw) and new cast member Scott Eastwood also show up in this quick sneak peek, but there's no glimpse of Charlize Theron in action just yet. Though an image of her villain, Cipher, was released last week.
The group are presumably at some kind of headquarters, where they're sure to be hatching their next big plan. Fast 8 will reportedly shift the focus of the franchise away from heist films to a spy caper, following a similar change in focus from street racing in Fast Five. Director F. Gary Gray is best known for last year's Straight Outta Compton and The Italian Job, so he's just the right person to helm this latest installment which will be part heist and part crime story.
And now that the gang are officially back together and have completed their first week of filming, we should be seeing and hearing more about Fast 8. Next stop for the cast is Atlanta and New York (the main setting of the film), which means coverage of the new trilogy that will conclude the franchise has only just begun.
Fast 8 opens in U.S. theaters on April 17th, 2017, followed by Fast and Furious 9 on April 19th, 2019, and Fast and Furious 10 on April 2nd, 2021.
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