Simply put, The Fast and the Furious franchise began with an amateur street racing movie which gradually and unexpectedly became a full grown action-oriented media franchise full of car chases, bank heists, spies, dope weaponry with over-the-top fight sequences. It has been a long journey and quite the fast/furious roller-coaster ride for the cast and makers of this epic action movie franchise. Over the years, the characters have undergone much transformation, thus evolving into flesh-and-blood characters whom we genuinely care about.
With Hobbs & Shaw, the perfect spin-off for the franchise featuring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, set to hit theatres worldwide this week, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and remember everything we have witnessed or might have missed related to this high octane action movie franchise, one of the highest grossing film series of all times.
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are the heart and soul of Fast and Furious saga. Needless to say that the chemistry between the two actors has been instrumental in the transformation of the franchise from standalone movies to a series of connected and intersecting storylines. The camaraderie which began in ‘The Fast and the Furious’ (2001) only grew stronger over the years with every film in the series until Walker’s last appearance in the seventh installment ‘Furious 7’ (2015), due to his untimely demise in a car crash.
The Recurring ‘Rock’
Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” has been a rock solid part of the Fast and the Furious gang as ‘Luke Hobbs’, since the fifth installment in the franchise ‘Fast Five’ (2011). Following an extensive workout regime to highlight his physique and look fierce in the role of a Diplomatic Security Service agent, Dwayne did full justice to his character pulling off every impossible stunt and implausible action sequence in the franchise.
Did You Know: The character of Luke Hobbs, portrayed by Dwayne Johnson, was originally written for Tommy Lee Jones. One day, Vin Diesel received a curious feedback from a fan expressing his desire to see Diesel and Johnson together on the big screen. Thus, the role was re-written for our very own ‘The Rock’.
Whether it is car and tank chase sequence on a freeway in ‘Fast & Furious 6’, the impossible car jump between skyscrapers in ‘Furious 7’ or the giant nuclear submarine action set piece in ‘The Fate of the Furious’, the franchise has upped the ante with its every installment. Every film related to the franchise promises to be an exhilarating ride for viewers.
Did you Know: Even though ‘The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift’ was released in 2006, it serves as a sequel to ‘Fast & Furious 6’ with Han’s death in a car crash leading up to the events of ‘Furious 7’. The car crash included in the post credits scene of the sixth movie also introduced Jason Statham in the role of Deckard Shaw, who swears vengeance against Dom and his team for his brother Owen’s arrest.
People get attached to even the minutest of things, quirks, and if it is a character in a film then it is quite a big deal when you plan a franchise with an ensemble cast. The fact that the main cast remained intact throughout the 8 movies has had a much bigger impact than you could think of in the success of this crazy franchise. Along with Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster who have been associated since the first film in 2001, Tyrese Gibson and Chris Bridges have held key positions in the franchise, in terms of overall development of the storyline.
Did you Know: Upon the box office success of the first film, the scripting for its sequel starring the original duo, Diesel and Walker, began almost immediately but the latter declined to return for the role of Dominic Toretto. This led to crucial rewrites in the script and paved the way for the introduction of longtime running characters Roman Pearce (Gibson) and Tej Parker (Bridges).
Introduction of Game changers
Even though the original cast seems heavily armed to carry an action movie on their shoulders, many big names/characters were introduced throughout which provided a big boost to the franchise. Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Gal Gadot, Charlize Theron and Kurt Russell have formulated their way successfully into the franchise and made the most of their characters.
Did You Know: Directed by Justin Lin, the 2002 film ‘Better Luck Tomorrow’ serves as a prequel to one of the key characters, Han, in the Fast and the Furious movies. When Lin was hired to direct the Tokyo Drift (2006), he imported the characters of Han and Kang from his previous film.
Hobbs & Shaw, a spin off of the Fast and the Furious franchise, will see Luke Hobbs (Dwyane Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) team up against a criminal mastermind Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) to save the world. The movie will feature massive action set pieces, elaborate chase scenes, and thrilling fight sequences. Helmed by ‘Deadpool 2’ director David Leitch, Hobbs & Shaw promises to be an action spectacle. Watch the trailer: