Fans of the Fast & Furious franchise who’ve been on this ride from the beginning know that the iterations we are watching now bear almost no resemblance to how things actually started. The movies, throughout the years, have only served to dial things up more and more, getting bigger (and considerably more ridiculous) with each installment. But with the final two films in the Vin Diesel-led franchise coming down the race path, there is a chance we see the franchise return to its roots some in size and scope. It might be a welcome change in order to come full (track) circle on this story.
While talking with Matt Belloni on The Town podcast, producer Neal Moritz got to talking about the Fast & Furious franchise’s past, present, and future. It was during this that he intimated what a possible path could look like for the final couple of installments of the Vin Diesel-led franchise. The possible vision might come as a surprise to those who’ve been following these stories and movies for the last two decades-plus. That’s because there’s been a certain trajectory to the films that might be reversed for the final two. Check out what Moritz had to say about how these final two Vin Diesel films could look:
“Honestly, I think going forward I’d like to actually go smaller. And I’d like to kind of start to go back to where we started. I think that’s an interesting way to go. I like to zig and then zag. I like to try and do something different and I think that’s what audiences demand these days.”
We all know that when The Fast and the Furious came out back in 2001 we were treated to, by comparison, a pretty insular story about the Los Angeles illegal street racing scene that dovetailed with a police investigation around the hijacking of trucks in the area. It gave us our introduction to Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto as well as the late Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner. The two would end up forming the pair at the base of the franchise. And, in all, the film’s *modest* $34 million budget pointed to a smaller film that ended up turning a studio-pleasing $200 million worldwide.
But as the franchise grew and Vin Diesel became an even bigger star, the Fast & Furious budgets started climbing. And with them, the stunts were ramped up well beyond anything anyone would have ever imagined when watching that first film. Things really started going into the stratosphere with Fast Five which had a budget of over $125 million dollars. The next four movies would go $160 million, $190 million, $250 million, and $200 million. Sure the box office returns were more than enough to justify the ever-rising costs, but the stunts were equally bananas. The cars raced through drug tunnels, a tank chased down the highway, cars leaped across skyscrapers, parachuted out of planes (the cars I mean), and took down an aircraft carrier.
With two more movies set to wrap up the Vin Diesel storyline for Fast & Furious, it would seem crazy in this day and age of Hollywood to have things revert back to a more stripped-down film. It’s simply not how things are done these days, especially when it comes to tentpole franchises. The tentative timelines for Fast & Furious 10 and 11 are for the summers of 2023 and 2024 respectively. So there would appear time to work some of these out. But if we went back to Los Angeles for a few street races, a barbecue or two, and maybe a quick desert robbery I don’t think the hardcore fans would be all that disappointed.