Rob Cohen directed the first Fast & Furious movie. It’s probably the only one in the franchise that in any way resembles an old 1990’s action/thriller (the third is kind of ‘grounded’ too).
Now speaking with Screen Crush he says he hasn’t shut out the possibility of ever coming back. Cohen wants to direct the final installment.
“I always wished Universal would come back to me to direct the last one… The franchise went from a Los Angeles story built around a family of multicultural brothers and sisters to what I’ll call ‘pure spectacle.’ The beauty is that the audience has ridden along with it for these 18 years.
I’m very proud that the characters I created in 2001 are still in the lexicon. There‘s still a Dominic Toretto appearing every two years, or a Mia Toretto, or a Letty. It had to evolve, and it evolved in a way that was ultra-worldwide commercial. And the heartbeat of it is: We live in a world with no gravity, cars can do anything. They can burst out of the nose of airplanes. People can jump across freeways. They can take down helicopters. It’s like, ‘Okay, anything for the spectacle’.
I started out to do a different thing, but the thing that I did implanted this world and these characters deeply in that audience. [M]ost of the time when you go on the internet and [read] ‘Which was the best Fast & Furious?’ It’s almost always mine.”
Cohen is hardly John Woo, but he’s right; the first film is the best.