Universal is wrenching with the idea of creating an expanded Fast and Furious universe. Franchise star Vin Diesel recently announced that he’ll be involved in three additional sequels (that makes 8,9 and 10 for those of you still keeping count). Now producers have brought Diesel in on their plans to potentially create more Furious films over the next few years, with characters from the franchise getting their own spinoffs.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given the way that studios are wringing their franchises for every last drop of box office potential. Paramount infamously created a Transformers writers’ room earlier this year to brainstorm sequels and spinoffs to their automotive alien franchise. Disney has at least five Star Wars films in the works, including Rogue One and a Han Solo solo feature, not to mention its barrage of Marvel movies, with release dates that extend well into the next decade. Sony’s Ghostbusters reboot now includes not only its female-centric films, but a male-centric reboot and an animated feature. And Fox has planted its flag on Pandora, as they’re currently underway with three–yes, three–Avatar sequels.
With the latest installment of Fast and Furious becoming a global box office phenomenon, drawing in over 1.5 billion–over 75% of which brought in overseas–it was only a matter of time before Universal entered these early stages of opening up its Furious universe. Domestically, Latinos contributed to the majority of Furious 7′s ticket sales, further establishing the demographic as a vital–and growing–part of the modern movie-going audience.
F. Gary Gray is set to direct the next installment, Furious 8, which will be the first in the franchise since the tragic death of star Paul Walker. The expanded universe could be a move to shift away from the storylines that centered on Walker’s character, while keeping the franchise in gear–a franchise which has now developed a massive international audience. Dwayne Johnson previously expressed interest in seeing his character, DSS agent Luke Hobbs, get his own feature–and if there’s such thing as a sure bet Hollywood these days, it’s that The Rock gets what The Rock wants.
Josh Lyons | Staff Writer