With the imminent release of The Fate of the Furious, the cast and crew are busy talking about the new movie as well as past installments of the increasingly popular series.
Here are the latest news bites.
What happened to Leon?
Leon (Johnny Strong, above, in the rear) was one of five members of the original core team. Only two of them appear in the newest movie: Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Jesse (Chad Lindberg) was killed in the first movie, while Vince (Matt Schulze) died during Fast Five. But the fate of Leon remains up in the air.
In The Fast and the Furious, Leon was last seen driving away with Dom, Letty and Mia (Jordana Brewster). What happened to him after that? Strong has his theory, as shared with EW: “I think it’s understood that Leon had had enough of that situation. The heat had become too risky and he didn’t want anything more to do with the gang.”
Who was originally envisioned as the star of the third installment?
The second installment, 2 Fast 2 Furious, revolved around Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) and his adventures in Florida. Dom did not appear in the movie, as Diesel was busy making xXx. For the third installment, writers were invited to pitch their ideas.
Chris Morgan, whose only previous credit at that point was a thriller titled Cellular, told Uproxx: “I think originally I came in and pitched. Essentially it was Tokyo Drift (above), but it was with Vin, and his character kind of had to go out and learn drifting. And there was a murder he had to solve.”
The response, according to Morgan? “They said, ‘Nah, can’t do that. We have to do high school.’ And so the movie became what the movie was. I was really proud of it.” Morgan acknowledged that Diesel’s cameo at the end of the movie was “the thing that kind of saved us,” giving them “the ammo to go in and do the fourth one, which led us to do the fifth and the sixth and the seventh and the eighth.”
What is the future of the franchise?
In a separate interview with Slashfilm, Morgan joked about Dom meeting Riddick, another franchise character played by Diesel, and working together to save the universe. He also name-checked yet another beloved character: “How fun would it be for Dom to find Marty McFly’s DeLorean?
More seriously, he says: “Vin and I have talked about this one for a while because the intent is to do 8, 9 and 10 and to make it a trilogy. So how do they all connect, what are we moving toward, what’s that final end point? We’ve been playing around with that stuff, and the studio has announced dates on it, but in terms of the script actually being written right now, we’re not at that stage yet.”
The Fate of the Furious opens in theaters on Friday. The ninth and tenth installments of the series are slated for release on April 19, 2019 and April 2, 2021, respectively.