When series producer Neil Moritz hinted that a Furious 8 update would be coming soon, we didn’t anticipate exactly how soon. Having made the tease just yesterday, Vin Diesel has gone ahead and announced a release date for the next installment in Universal’s billion-dollar baby during the ongoing CinemaCon event in Las Vegas, slating the sequel for April 14, 2017.
On the verge of tears, Diesel – who plays hard-boiled Dominic Toretto in the series – gave a heartfelt speech thanking fans for their unconditional support, and how he is excited to push the Fast and Furious franchise forward with their blessing.
“It means a lot to me to get your blessing. We were giddy and excited. You all gave me so much confidence. There was so much love.”
Considering that Furious 7 very much acted as a send-off to the late Paul Walker, it’ll be interesting to see which direction the sequel will take. Will Toretto reunite the ensemble for “one last job,” or will the production favor a more focused approach in lieu of a blockbuster heist? Alas, it’s too early too tell at this point in time, though Universal will have a choice to make when it comes to directors.
With James Wan committed to The Conjuring 2, common logic would dictate that the studio will court Justin Lin to return to a series he helped define for Furious 8. However, Lin currently has his hands full with Star Trek 3 – Star Trek Beyond? – which is scheduled for 2016. We’ll no doubt learn more about the street-racing follow-up in the months to come, but who steps into the director’s chair will be a major decision one way or another.
Ultimately, Universal’s decision to green light Furious 8 should come as no surprise following the record-breaking success of its predecessor, which is tracking to pull up to the proverbial finish line with a whopping $1.4 billion. For the sake of perspective, that’s just a fraction less than Marvel’s Iron Man 3, which pulled in $1.53 billion when it debuted in 2013.
Can Furious 8 topple this haul when it arrives on April 14, 2017?