When it comes to big blockbuster franchises, if you are not a part of a shared universe, then you aren’t doing it right. Marvel Studios is doing it with the MCU, and WB is doing it for their DC Comics in the DCCU. Some studios have attempted and failed to make their own, while others are playing catch up. But for the Fast and Furious franchise, now seems like the perfect time to jump on the shared universe bandwagon, and cash-in on the biggest Hollywood trend.
Franchise star Vin Diesel shared the latest development in a recent interview while talking about Furious 8 and the future of the franchise. More on the story below.
Diesel made the huge reveal about the franchise in an interview with Variety:
“We’ve written out story lines for various characters. We’ve been playing with it for a long time. It’s a very rich property and we’re committed to treating it with a lot of class.”
With the franchise coming to its supposed end, the only real way that it could possibly stay alive is through prequels and spinoffs, though Diesel wouldn’t say which characters would get their own franchise movies. Nor did he say if any of the franchise stars would return to reprise their respective roles in them, but apparently the studio sounds willing to get behind the movies if the cast is up for it.
Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley confirmed that talks about a Fast and Furious shared universe were taking place. Langley said there are talks about how the franchise could be expanded, and that the amount of characters they have allows them to “bring characters in and out.”
The shared universe business model is not an entirely new concept. Marvel Studios started it all off back in 2008 by kicking things off with Iron Man, which then lead to the other solo superhero films, all of which culminated to the superhero ensemble Avengers. Now Star Wars doesn’t have that luxury, but it can expand thanks in part to the Anthology series they are working on. Rogue One will focus on stealing the plans to the Death Star, while others will focus more on characters like Han Solo.
So as of now, Universal is focused on dolling out the core films. F. Gary Gray was recently hired to direct Furious 8. “I’m a fan of the cars and the world and after being on ‘Straight’ for four years, it was time to have some fun.”
Obviously there is a bit of absurdity when it comes to the stunts in these films, which look like they are only getting bigger with each and every new installment. Some even argued that we would see Dom and his crew enter space. Jeff Shell of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group seems to agree with that sentiment:
“You can’t keep having every movie have bigger and bigger stunts forever and ever and ever. Eventually you have to really focus on the story. We’ll still have big stunts but bringing in this amazing storyteller is going to be great.”
It should be interesting to see how this shared universe develops. For the most part this is Diesel’s bread and butter franchise.