As if franchise newcomer James Wan (Insidious 1 & 2) didn't have enough talent to direct as the new helmsman behind Fast & Furious 7, the ensemble has just gotten a little bit bigger. After welcoming action star Tony Jaa, veteran Kurt Russell and Oscar-nominated Djimon Hounsou to the already-massive cast of Fast & Furious 7, Universal Pictures is bringing back another familiar face to the series.
If Michelle Rodriguez's Letty can return from the dead for Fast & Furious 6, why can't the star of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (re)join the core group too? That's right. Lucas Black is finally back.
The mid-credits button at the end of Fast & Furious 6 pulled the story of Tokyo Drift (the series' third installment) into the main timeline of the numbered franchise installments, by introducing the brother of Fast & Furious 6 villain Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) - another Shaw played by Jason Statham - and tying his intro to a key scene in Tokyo Drift where Han (Sung Kang) is taken out in an explosion resulting from high-speed car collision.
Since 2006, fans of the series have waited to see how the story of Fast & Furious 3/Tokyo Drift would fit into the main timeline since Han dies here but is alive in the three following films (all directed by Justin Lin). And since this scene was teased at the end of Fast & Furious 6, that would mean that Lucas Black's character Sean Boswell - the protagonist of Tokyo Drift - would likely be rejoining the series, giving the story behind why Vin Diesel shows up at the end of that film some meaning.
For those who don't know, Universal Pictures made a deal with Vin Diesel that in exchange for a limited-time use of the rights to Riddick he would do a cameo in Tokyo Drift, and now that investment is paying off. According to Deadline, Lucas Black is not only returning for Fast & Furious 7 but at least two more series installments.
Yes, Fast & Furious 8 and 9 are on the way, not that the news comes as any surprise. Vin Diesel already has begun talking up the eight installment along with Kurt Russell's role that sequel, and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has already teased the potential for a spinoff involving his character, Luke Hobbs. As the franchise gets bigger, so too does its fan base with Fast & Furious 6 raking in nearly $800 million worldwide.
It's been a long time coming. Are you excited to see Lucas Black join Dominic Toretto's crew?
Fast & Furious 7 releases July 11, 2014 – with Fast & Furious 8 sure to follow soon thereafter.