The last Fast & Furious movie raked in gargantuan profits. Well over 700 million. You’d think that the franchise would be surely running out of steam by now with granny-shifting DTVs. Not the case, unbelievably, ‘Fast 7’ looks set to trump not only it’s predecessor’s but also be a big contender for that big 2015 lineup top spot. Here’s why it’ll break one billion.
There’s a new director in town. And his name is James Wan. Wan has previously directed movies like Saw (2004) and The Conjuring (2013). Arguably Wan is more skilful than Justin Lin and could possibly make the series slightly less ridiculous in its style and action. He has certainly said that in movies with vehicles, more grounded and gritty affairs are what tickles his taste. Wan may just be the best thing to happen to the series since Lin breathed fresh air into it years ago. We’re hoping that with James wan aboard, it’ll be less is it a bird, is it a plane? No, definitely… it’s a V8.
Production is also going after stars from emerging markets. An example is Indian actor Ali Fazal who will appear in the movie as a street racer. Most won’t know him, actually, given the number of Indians on this planet, perhaps most will know him, and that’s probably the point of his casting. As if this movie won’t generate gargantuan profits already, 1.2 billion people will be given another incentive for going to see it. Fast 7 will likely be a very big deal in India. And that’s before we get to their marketing strategy for China.
With a cast that includes all of those usual regulars, which now includes The Rock, throwing Statham into the mix should create some fantastic possibilities. No director in the world can put Jason Statham in a movie as the bad guy and The Rock in the same movie as a good guy… and not have them fight. We are getting it, now that we know that Jason Statham and The Rock will fight. Fans have also speculated that Statham will fight Vin Diesel too, based on recent pictures suggesting a likely confrontation. This could be one for the ages. All it’ll take will be a teaser clip one month before release of this scene alone and hype will hit the roof.
The cast of this movie is almost breaking at the seams. In addition to the regulars, who by themselves are no box office slouches, newcomers include Kurt Russell and Tony Jaa. Not only that, old ‘Fast’ faces will also return such as Lucas Black’s Sean Boswell. There are so many notable faces in there that the people behind trailer editing must have a dilemma in fitting them all in. When the trailer appears before this Christmases movies, expect a few pops and cheers… like The Expendables 3 trailer recently, with Gibson, Snipes and Ford.
Put simply, the west is not ready for Tony Jaa. And we say that in a good way. If you’re reading this site, you probably are familiar with Jaa and what he is. But for many of the casual fans of this series, they’re not prepared. Think back to that first scene with Jaa in Ong Bak when decimated a bully in an underground fighting tournament – possibly and/or probably, if Wan is smart, next year will be their introduction. Gina Carano may have given fans a nice fight scene in Fast 6, but Gina Carano is no Tony Jaa. To put it shortly, Tony Jaa is a phenomenon waiting to happen. This will be his first western movie. He could damned well steal the show. He’s also rumoured to play Johnny Tran’s brother, which is, oddly, kinda awesome.
The story for these movies have always been, frankly, embarrassing. The only time the actual ‘plot’ of a Fast movie has been marginally interesting, was in the first movie, when they ripped off Point Break and replaced surfboards with performance cars. The last movie in particular had some damned shitty screen writing. But we tread into tried-and-test territory in Fast 7 with revenge territory. There is bad blood between Statham, pissed at the death of a brother, and the usual ‘crew’, pissed at the death of Han (Sung Kang). Okay, so we don’t expect ‘Ronin’ here but it’ll at least have more substance this time around.
Lastly, there’s the notoriety factor. The passing of Paul Walker and the tragic and ironic circumstances will prove to have been a knock-on effect for how prominent this movie is. You only have to look at The Dark Knight and the death of Heath Ledger to appreciate how this can affect a movie. This will be Paul Walker’s last movie and people are going to want to see it. And they’re going to want to see how they finished his scenes and how they’ll write him out of it. Walker has had more screen time in this franchise than any other, including Diesel. A Walker send off in a Fast movie will be a big deal