This Fast and Furious family feud has become so wacky and convoluted that it could easily serve as the plot for the next Fast and Furious movie. If you haven’t been paying attention, here’s a quick recap: After some highly-publicized beef with Vin Diesel on the set of The Fate of the Furious, Dwayne Johnson struck a deal with Universal for his very own spinoff with Jason Statham. Last week, the studio pushed the release of Fast 9 back from 2019 to 2020, and subsequently scheduled Johnson’s spinoff for…2019. Tyrese Gibson dragged Johnson on Instagram. Then Diesel chimed in with a post about staying positive. Grab your popcorn, fam, because Johnson just responded.
Tyrese Gibson has taken to posting (and the deleting) pleas on social media for Dwayne Johnson not to leave the Fast and Furious franchise like a lovestruck ex. At least, that’s what everyone figures is going on, because there is clearly something going on between the two. Tyrese Gibson has been commenting and the deleting messages to The Rock on his Instagram posts, and today posted an Instagram himself, along with a plea for Johnson to call him back.
Here’s a question for you: is it time to add Vin Diesel to the list of actors whose career is defined entirely by a single film franchise? Sure, Diesel has shown up in other successful movies throughout his careers — Saving Private Ryan, The Iron Giant, and Guardians of the Galaxy have all been critical and commercial successes, not to mention his more niche productions like Find Me Guilty and his Riddick movies — but none of this holds a candle to his work on the Fast and Furious franchise. He’s been producer, screenwriter, and star of those movies for over 16 years now… I mean, nobody goes up to William Shatner and praises him for his work in Judgment at Nuremberg, right?
Fambly. Chances are you just read that word in the gravel-voiced growl of babyfaced colossus Vin Diesel, the star of the Fast and Furious franchise that turned those two syllables into a catchphrase, and then into a way of life. In no small way, Diesel is the series, and not just because his name makes him sound like he’s already a character in one of these movies. As noble-hearted car jacker Dom Toretto, he helped shape the tone, themes, and overall outlook of all films fast and furious. But he was this close to missing it all, and going through life primarily identified as “the guy in the xXx movies I always tell my wife I was trying to Google.”
In The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment in the car-jacking, street racing franchise, Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto does the worst thing a man of his values can do: He turns his back on family. That six letter, three syllable mantra is the sentimental thread that holds the Fast and Furious crew together, and what adds heart to an action series suffused with cars and criminals. One would assume there must be good reason to plot an entire film around something so antithetical to the spirit of the series. But that reveal winds up being the silliest and most left-field twist since the time the movies explained Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) return with amnesia.
To honor the 15th anniversary of the movie that started it all, Universal is re-releasing The Fast and the Furious in theaters nationwide. Revisiting your introduction to Dom, Letty, Brian and the magical world of NOS should help make the wait for Fast 8 a little easier, but you’ll only have a limited time to see the original film on the big screen.
Vin Diesel, he of the bulging biceps, shiny scalp and low vocal register, has been making the press rounds for Furious 7 over the past few weeks. Considering just how crazy his new movie is, he sure has a lot to talk about. But even the unlimited number of potential conversation topics to mined from the insanity of the seventh film in the Fast and Furious saga couldn’t stop him from teasing the eighth film in the franchise, which may be set in New York City.
Increasingly the Fast and Furious franchise has felt like a superhero franchise. A group of heroes with seemingly infinite strength and abilities taking on the bad guys and becoming a family in the process. It's like Avengers meets the Fantastic Four, but with a lot of cars. With the movies already up to Part 7 and Paul Walker sadly gone, the series can't go on forever. So, how do they continue the brand? Just like the superheroes do: with spinoffs.