The Fast & Furious film franchise is now on course to conclude with one final trilogy of movies, starting with the next chapter in the ongoing story of street car racer-turned international outlaw - most recently, a secretly government-supported one at that - Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel): Fast & Furious 8. While Furious 7 was originally designed to serve as the first installment in a new trilogy of Fast & Furious adventures, the untimely death of Paul Walker part-way through production seemingly (and understandably) led to a change in plans for the property's future as a whole, now that Walker's character, Brian O'Connor, has been formally (and sensitively) "retired" from the series.
Plot details for Fast & Furious 8 are under lock and key for the time being, though it's known that the film - from Fast & Furious franchise screenwriter Chris Morgan and director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, Straight Outta Compton) - will feature a combination of returning Fast & Furious players (on both sides of the camera at that) and new cast members. We may also have a more official title for this installment now too, courtesy of the film's newly-unveiled teaser poster.
Diesel previously unveiled a teaser banner for Fast & Furious 8 that listed the film's title as being Fast 8: a return to the naming scheme for the fifth installment in the series, Fast Five, unlike the last two additions to the franchise (Furious 6 and Furious 7, respectively). However, in the new teaser poster that Diesel posted to his official Facebook account, the film is referred to as Furious 8 - though it features the same tagline as the banner, with "New Roads Ahead." It's plausible that Universal Pictures decided that it would be better to stick with the "branding" approach used to title the last two Fast & Furious movies rather than revert to the style of Fast Five. If it ain't broke (as the box office returns for Furious 6 & 7 are a testament to), why fix it?
UPDATE: It has been brought to our attention that the Fast & Furious 8 poster than Vin Diesel shared is, in fact, a fan-made poster that surfaced online back in 2015. So, until further notice, it looks like Universal is, in fact, reverting to the Fast Five "branding" approach and titling the eighth Fast & Furious film Fast 8 after all.
Diesel will be headlining the eighth Fast & Furious installment, where he will be joined by the series' active core acting lineup: Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, in addition to (most likely) Furious 7 additions Kurt Russell and Jason Statham. The new additions to the Fast & Furious ensemble this round will include Oscar-winner Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) possibly as the film's central antagonist, in addition to Scott Eastwood (The Longest Ride) and Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones) as an undisclosed character and Theron's henchman respectively, according to the previous reports on the matter. Rumors also persist that Eva Mendes will reprise her role as Monica Fuentes (from 2 Fast 2 Furious and Fast Five's mid-credits scene) in Fast 8, too.
Both the diverse recurring cast and new cast additions in each installment have allowed Fast & Furious to appeal to a wide range in moviegoing demographics throughout its seven installments; at the same time, what re-invograted the series after the drop-off in box office returns for its third chapter, Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, was its willing to "re-invent" itself by incorporating different genre elements with each new film. Much like Fast & Furious (the fourth film) was a crime drama/thriller in the view of the original Fast and the Furious, the fifth and sixth installments took on the forms of international heist adventures, while Furious 7 was a mix of 1970s revenge thriller throwback and globe-trotting super-agent action. Gray, for his part, has yet to reveal what the game plan is for Fast 8, but has offered his assurances that it too will incorporate different genre elements into the mix - further helping to justify the continuation of this franchise for the next five years, in the process.
Fast 8 opens in U.S. theaters on April 14th, 2017, followed by Fast and Furious 9 on April 19th, 2019, and Fast and Furious 10 on April 2nd, 2021.
Source: Vin Diesel
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