Even if Fast & Furious 6 hadn't topped a record-breaking Memorial Day weekend box office and opened better than any of the other films in its franchise, you knew part seven was on its way. That is, if you saw part six and caught the bit at the end introducing us to a new villain. Or maybe you've just been following news that it's in the works with a new director taking over from four-timer Justin Lin. Either way, or regardless of what you knew or expected, it's time to start talking about Fast & Furious 7 and where we want it to take the series.
Spoiler warning for Furious 6 and possibly other F&F films.
Here's a quick roundup of what is currently fact about F&F7: James Wan (Saw; Insidious) is coming on as director. Chris Morgan (F&F 2-6) remains as screenwriter. Jason Statham, as seen at the end of F&F6 (in a new look at a scene from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), is the new bad guy, Ian Shaw, who is the brother of latest villain Owen Shaw. Last but not least, through an interview with Vin Diesel, we've learned that the setting will first be in Tokyo and then move to somewhere in the Middle East. In another interview he claimed, "we are bringing it back to Los Angeles!" Diesel has also been saying the next one will be a "reset" kicking off a new trilogy, plotwise, with 7-9 already narratively mapped out.
That's a fair amount of detail this early in the production, but this sequel is moving very quickly as it's set to open in just over a year (July 11, 2014 to be exact). Still, there's a lot that we don't know yet. Could either Han or Gisele pull a Letty and return from "the dead"? Will Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) not make an appearance this time, as they're saying at Screen Crush? Will they find more former martial artists and athletic champions to substitute for the awesome bad-guy action performances by Gina Carano, Kim Kold and Joe Taslim?
Here are some things I'd love to see happen with the seventh movie: after getting the phone call from Ian Shaw at the end of 6, Dominic (Diesel) heads to Tokyo -- as we saw at the end of Tokyo Drift anyway -- with what's left of his gang. They bring Tokyo Drift protagonist Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) into the fold and deal with some fraternal vengeance. Actually, after similar situations in such franchises as Die Hard and Taken, I'm hoping there's more to it than just Ian wanting payback for the death of his brother. However, given what we saw happen to Han, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a few more F&F regulars offed at the beginning of 7.
As for Wan's involvement, could we see the franchise switch genres again? Not that I want ghost riders in the movie or anything else of the spooky nature, but it would be kinda cool if they funneled in some other horror elements. Maybe Ian Shaw is even more into tricked-out vehicles than Owen (with his "flip cars") and we see some Saw-inspired, Death Race/Road Warrior-esque stuff being driven by the adversaries this time around -- after all, what else is going to top that tank?
Seriously, who are they going to top that sequence?!? At Screen Crush, Sean O'Connell takes inspiration from the Middle East setting of Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol and suggests they figure out a way to drive up the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. At Film School Rejects, Brian Salisbury pitches more star power and character power in the form of Jason Bourne, the Bandit and King Kong, among others. Actor Rainn Wilson tweets that it will "be animated and merged with Cars 3."
Where would you like to see the Fast & Furious franchise go next?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
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