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It’s rare that so much digital ink would be spilled over a seventh film in a series before the sixth even hits theaters, but then again, Fast & Furious isn’t your average franchise. The immensely popular franchise not only has Fast & Furious 6 waiting at the starting line for its May launch, but Fast & Furious 7 is in the works, despite some cast and crew shake-ups. The folks over at Collider talked with producer Neal Moritz about the sixth and seventh installments, confirming the new director and Dwayne Johnson’s involvement in the next chapter of the F&F saga.
But before diving into Moritz’s quotes about the Fast & Furious 6, let’s get to the Fast & Furious 7 news. First, the producer confirmed shooting for the next film will begin on July 11 of 2014. Johnson pointed out that this will lead to some conflicts with his starring role in Brett Ratner’s Hercules, but Moritz said the action star will still appear in his film, stating, “[Fast & Furious 7] is a new chapter, but The Rock will be involved as well.”
Moritz also confirmed that Saw and Insidious director James Wan has officially signed on to direct the movie as was originally reported earlier this month after longtime franchise filmmaker Justin Lin bowed out.
“[Wan is] a terrific, terrific director at the top, top of his genre,” Moritz said. “He’s done everything you could do in the genre he’s been working in, and as he said to me the other day, everything he has trained himself within that genre has been so he could take the next step up into something like Fast & Furious… I’ve always been a fan of his, he’s one of the people that we initially had on our list as a possible replacement, but I can just tell you when he came in and told us what his vision was, when he left the room we all looked at each other and said ‘That’s our director.'”
Asked if he sees an eventual end to the Fast & Furious franchise, Moritz responded, “I really think that people are really interested in these characters, and we’re lucky enough to have developed so many characters with so many storylines that the biggest hindrance of this franchise is the fact that we just don’t have enough screentime to service all the characters in this movie. There’s just so many interpersonal relationships between so many people in the movie, there’s just a lot of different ways to go. So we’re just continually working to develop good stories with good characters and have a lot of their stories interweave constantly and sprinkle a lot of great action in between.”
As for the immediate F&F future, Moritz had high praise for the upcoming 6th film in the series. “It’s the best of the series,” he said. “We had one test screening on this movie and over 90% of the people in the audience said it was as good or better than Fast Five, with the majority of them being better. It just delivers, there’s incredible action, there’s a fantastic villain, but the spine of the movie is that relationship between Vin and Michelle. When she comes back and how that throws everything into havoc, it’s just fantastic. It’s just a really, really good emotional story between the two of them and it’s really the backbone.”
Moritz went on to say that the film features more action than the previous entry. “We have two or three of the best action sequences you will ever see,” Moritz said. “The scene where you saw the tank on the freeway, that sequence is incredible. The taking-down of the big plane at the end of the movie is incredible, and then there’s a sequence early on that we call ‘Team vs. Team’ through the streets of London which is incredible.”
Here’s the official synopsis for Fast & Furious 6:
Since Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian’s (Paul Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin’s empire and left their crew with $100 million, our heroes have scattered across the globe. But their inability to return home and living forever on the lam have left their lives incomplete.
Meanwhile, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) has been tracking an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers across 12 countries, whose mastermind (Luke Evans) is aided by a ruthless second-in-command revealed to be the love Dom thought was dead, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). The only way to stop the criminal outfit is to outmatch them at street level, so Hobbs asks Dom to assemble his elite team in London. Payment? Full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again.
Fast & Furious 6 opens May 24.