James Wan’s Furious 7 is one of the fastest films to gross a billion dollars at the box office. Of course with each new Fast and Furious raising the box office bar, sequels are quickly green lit. The tragic loss of Paul Walker though would make things a bit difficult for the franchise to continue, but fans have spoken out, and they want more.
Universal will be honoring that request. Vin Diesel was at CinemaCon today to officially announce that Fast and Furious 8 will be released April 14, 2017. Hit the jump for more.
The announcement was inevitable, but it seems fitting that Diesel would be the one to break the news and not some Hollywood trade. During the Furious 7 press tour, Diesel spoke about how the franchise could take place in New York, with the possibility of Kurt Russell returning to reprise his role as Mr. Nobody.
Variety was on hand to report on the breaking news.
“We were giddy and excited. You all gave me so much confidence. There was so much love,” Diesel said at the panel.
The tentatively titled Furious 8 will now be going up against Open Road Films’ Blazing Samurai and Disney/DreamWorks’ Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson, while an untitled Universal monster film will open a week after.
No word yet on who will direct Furious 7. James Wan is currently directing The Conjuring 2, and is one of the rumored frontrunners to direct Aquaman starring Jason Momoa. Justin Lin, who directed Fast and Furious 3 through 6, may be available after he completes his work on Star Trek 3, but he would have to jump straight into production as soon as the press tour for that film ends.
The announcement seems to indicate that new deals have been finalized, though a full cast has yet to be announced. In a previous report, it was said that all of the actors’ contracts had expired, meaning new deals had to be made. Dwayne Johnson’s deal was more of a film-by-film basis, so there is no word yet on if he will return to play Hobbs.
As to who else may star in the newly announced sequel, Dame Helen Mirren has expressed an interest in starring in the film as a villain.
There is also no word yet if there will be more films beyond Fast and Furious 8. Universal has said that they’ve planned for Fast and Furious 8, 9, and 10, but that was before Walker’s passing. Though the eighth installment could be a proving ground for those subsequent sequels.