If there was ever a strategy to wind down the Fast & Furious franchise after 2015, this year’s box office-shaking Furious 7 – with a franchise-topping haul of $1.5 billion – effectively blew Dominic Toretto’s retirement plan to kingdom come. Shortly thereafter, we learned of Vin Diesel’s plan for one final trilogy to close the book on the lucrative street-racing series, though much to the surprise of no one, Universal has much bigger plans in store for its billion dollar baby.
News comes by way of Variety, revealing that the studio is in the early stages of setting up various spinoffs and prequel films in tandem with Diesel. According to the actor, both parties have already began to map out some of these standalone offshoots, which are designed more to spotlight the core characters as opposed to the explosive action set-pieces that surrounds them. “We’ve written out story lines for various characters,” said Diesel. “We’ve been playing with it for a long time. It’s a very rich property and we’re committed to treating it with a lot of class.”
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No word yet on which characters of the Fast & Furious franchise will topline their own spinoffs, though after expressing his interest in the concept not to mention the popularity of his hardboiled special agent, Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs is almost a shoo-in for the part. In fact, according to Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, the studio is in active conversations with a handful of the ensemble, meaning that the studio may alternate between a mainline installment and spinoff film – similarly to Disney’s approach to Star Wars – from 2018 onwards.
“We’re certainly in conversations about how we can expand the franchise now. It’s an ensemble cast and there’s room to bring characters in and out.”
Straight Outta Compton helmer F. Gary Gray is behind the wheel of Furious 8, which is currently slated for a release on April 14, 2018.