Earlier this week, there were reports of Universal negotiating a deal to get Justin Lin to direct back-to-back Fast and Furious films, and eventually end the franchise. While the end is inevitable, it’s really hard to know when a franchise like the Fast and Furious could end, because as long as it is a huge profit, the studio will continue to produce more sequels. The last four films have seen huge box office results, with each new installment grossing more than their predecessor.
But the studio talking to Lin could mean that the end is near. Now, Universal chairman Donna Langley is talking about it, saying that there will be at “least three more” movies and that depends on Furious 7‘s box office performance. Hit the jump for more.
Here’s the full quote from an interview that Langley did with THR.
We think there’s at least three more. […] I think it’s still a growing franchise. We’ll see what happens with Furious 7, obviously, but our box office has grown over the past three or four films and internationally, in particular. So we think that there’s more to mine there. But we’re of course very mindful about fatigue.
Lin had a lot to do with where the Fast and Furious franchise is today. Having directed the last four films before bowing out of the seventh, each new installment had an increased anticipation, and some of them even exceeded expectations. But defying the laws of physics can only go so far, and that’s what Langley alluded to with being mindful “about fatigue.”
The franchise also suffered the loss of star Paul Walker, who tragically died in a car accident last year. Langley mentions that Walker will always be a part of the story, and given that it is a growing franchise, lesser-known characters and new characters will have an opportunity to grow.
It’s important to know that Langley does see the silver lining. She admits that it all depends on Furious 7, which may or may not be a good thing on James Wan. Wan took a break from horror, to direct Furious 7, but had to change much of the story in the wake of Walker’s passing. Now, Wan is signed on to direct The Conjuring 2, which is scheduled for a June 2016 release, so it is very unlikely that he’ll direct Fast and Furious 8.
There could be many reasons why Wan quickly signed on to direct The Conjuring 2 and why Universal didn’t opt to get him to direct another Fast and Furious sequel. But one thing is clear, Universal knows the end is coming, and they are now trying to get ahead of the curve before their profitable franchise suffers from fatigue.