Heavy.com was on-set in London for the filming of Fast & Furious 6, and this week we're bringing you exclusive articles and photos to get you amped for the Memorial Day launch of the most epic installment in the high-adrenaline Fast & Furious franchise. Get more of your Fast 6 fix here.
With Fast & Furious 6 being the "third installment of the second trilogy" in the epic action franchise, does that mean we can expect 7,8 and 9 in the near future?
Vin Diesel is talking like it's destiny.
"We were at the third Fast and it wasn't going anywhere, it wasn't growing," co-star and co-producer Vin Diesel told us. "When I came on as a producer for the fourth one, the outlandish idea I was presenting was, 'Could we treat this like a new trilogy? Could we treat 4,5 and 6 in a way where the films speak to one another?'"
He continued, "I know we're calling this 6 and the last movie was Fast 5, but one of the things I appreciate about the studio is they've approached it as a trilogy, in the same way that they are thinking in a very cool way about the next — the future of the franchise — and whether they should just immediately shoot 7 or map out 7 with the eighth and the ninth chapter already laid out. So much of this was mapped out prior to doing 4, and it kind of took the studio to build confidence back into the franchise in order to us to be here at the third installment of the second trilogy."
Diesel doesn't want to simply crank out more box-office-smash installments. Fast is his passion project. As he told us, "If you're going to do a sequel, you should try to approach it in the Francis Ford Coppola kind of way, where you are expanding on your story, your characters are evolving, one movie affects the next, and I think that's why it's successful. ... Something about these films, Fast 4, Fast 5, we have been very open about the cliffhangers, the connective tissue, and the bookends. When we're done with this one, you should be able to look at 4, 5 and 6 continuously. That's cool. These last three movies have been their own kind of trilogy."
Diesel refers to a seventh film like it's a sure thing. And he only wants to do a seventh film if it's part of a trilogy. So, you do the math.
“I think you'll see a shift in 7," he said. "I think in 7 you'll see kind of a return to the core, and you'll see, without giving away this movie, you'll see a coming home of sorts. It'll be a kickoff to the next trilogy, done right. If we would have rushed 7, we would have had a great 7 and then not had a thought-out path for 8 and 9.
His question for studio bigwigs was, "Do you very quickly commit to the 7, as we had planned — the bones of 7 are already mapped out — or do you take a step back and think about how 7, 8 and 9 would intertwine?"
Co-star Paul Walker, who, like Diesel, built his career around the franchise, sounds dubious:
"They're talking about [creating more sequels]. I don't know. We'll see. Justin and Vin and I, we feel like we've really done it. At this point. And this one's cool because I feel like everyone's really getting their time in this one, and the cast is so big, and it makes it fun but it's also exhausting."
Diesel, who has nearly 40 million Facebook fans, is all about responding to the audience — and he says audience love sequels that pick up where the last one left off. "Back when we were doing 4, the idea of 6 was already there," he said. "I don't know if it's because we're in a gaming society, but the audience likes to feel like the movie they saw last will give them equity when going into the next chapter. I don't think the audience likes to see a sequel that is detached and doesn't connect to the prior film."
Some new faces have appeared in the series as it's progressed, most notably Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's. Diesel is just as excited about his being there as his audience is. “The allure of Dwayne and I doing a fight sequence would be fun in any franchise. To add that to this franchise is just, cool," he said. "The surprises that we'll have in this movie are just cool. I think the only challenge, quite frankly — which is one of the reasons Universal was so seriously entertaining doing 6 and 7 back-to-back — is because one film doesn't give you enough real estate to really explore each of the characters as much as you'd like. But when you're thinking as a trilogy, obviously you have more room to explore each character."
Walker might be interested in more F&F films, but it will take a new direction to get his blessing. "I think it's gone too big," he said. "I think the only way to do it, if we were to do another one, is to strip it all the way back. Basically, just reinvent it. I think we'd have to go edgier, and I think it would have to be rooted in more reality." Because "The only way we can make it bigger is if our cars start turning into robots."
Michelle Rodriguez, who portrays Letty, says the Fast franchise must stay true to its core. "When things take a life of their own, which I think the franchise has, in itself, a lot of times you can get lost in the explosions and the monotony of action, trying to find that special thing that hasn't been done before, but you lose track of heart and people and subcultures and story when you hyperfocus on big-action sequences and stuff like this," she told us.
"I'm real adamant. I'll fight to the death. For this franchise. I hold it dear to my heart, so if you try to do some goofy sh*t, I might bail on you."