The Fast and the Furious franchise is alive and thriving, following series-high box office returns for Fast Five (the most critically-acclaimed installment to date). Fast and the Furious 6 is attracting rising talent in ex-MMA star Gina Carano (Haywire) and Luke Evans (Immortals), who are joining the F&TF (gotta love that acronym) ensemble of Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Jordana Brewster, along with F5 addition Dwayne Johnson and series alum Tyrese Gibson, as well as Michelle Rodriguez. We can now add martial artist Joe Taslim and model Clara Paget to that list.
Scroll on down to learn more about the series newcomers in Fast and the Furious 6, along with plot/character details for Justin Lin's fourth go in the F&TF director's chair.
Taslim is an Indonesian martial artist (a champion in Judo) and aspiring actor who had a couple minor roles under his belt, prior to his breakout turn in Gareth Evans cult action-thriller The Raid: Redemption. Variety announces Taslim's role in Fast and the Furious 6 as Jah, a merciless villain "who uses his martial arts and parkour skills to fight the pic's protags." It sounds likes Taslim serves as the muscle behind Evans' central antagonist (the head of a rival heist crew).
Specific plot points covered in Chris Morgan's script for Fast and the Furious 6 are being kept secret, though the general story outline sees the F&TF gang working a heist job overseas in Europe (think The Italian Job, injected with an extra dosage of adrenaline-fueled thrills). Johnson reprises his role as the relentless fed Luke Hobbs, with Carano as a member of Hobbs' national security team. There's also a side narrative thread that brings Rodriguez back as Letty - who is not deceased, as revealed in a mid-credits scene from Fast Five - and ties into the primary caper plot (expect it to serve as added conflict for Diesel's Dominic Toretto, who still carries a torch for his onetime sweetheart).
Daily Mail says Paget's onboard for Fast and the Furious 6 in "a sort of ‘sidekick’ role, playing a ‘gun-slinging action woman’" known as Vegh, though it neglects to mention whether she's on the side of the baddies or our (anti-)heroes. Paget has served as (for lack of a better description) a glorified extra in such films as Johnny English Reborn and One Day; her role here shouldn't be all that taxing, calling for Paget to do little more than to look good while holding a gun. It's a better bit of casting than placing an inexperienced ex-model in a thinly-sketched role that still calls for a compelling performance (Transformers 3, looking at you...).
When we spoke to Diesel during production on Fast Five, he said the plan was for Fast and the Furious 6 to conclude the trilogy set in motion by Fast & Furious (and continued on with Fast Five). Diesel has since gone on record to say that Fast and the Furious 7 is developing, as there are too many relationship subplots to properly payoff in the sixth film alone. It's a reasonable argument, as the cast has swollen to Ocean's Eleven proportions in Fast Five, and F&TF 6 only adds to that lineup - though, obviously, it's financial incentive that'll ensure this franchise lives on for (at least) two more movies.
The Fast and the Furious 6 (not the official title) opens in U.S. theaters on May 24th, 2013.
Source: Variety, The Daily Mail