Two days ago, news began to circulate that Universal plans to wrap up the Fast & Furious franchise with a multi-film send-off, bringing back franchise veteran Justin Lin to direct the concluding chapters. Since joining the series on Tokyo Drift, Lin went on to helm a further three instalments to great success; which is what the studio are clamouring after. It’s an exciting prospect for their juggernaut property, but an idea that may come to fruition some miles down the road.
During a roundtable chat with THR (via /Film), Universal exec Donna Langley let it slip that their intentions are to keep on truckin’ until the premise runs out of steam:
“We’ll see what happens with ‘Furious 7,’ obviously, but our box office has grown over the past three or four films and internationally, in particular. So we think that there’s more to mine there. But we’re of course very mindful about fatigue.”
Obviously, there’s no chance the studio would put the kibosh on the series’ future if it’s still bringing in a handsome dose of cash. However, it’s refreshing to hear a studio exec discuss the matter of fatigue. More often than not the promise of financial reward outweighs audience demand (see: every horror title), leaving the cinemagoing public with a sour parting impression over an entire franchise.
With Furious 7 suffering a major setback due to the sad, tragic death of leading man Paul Walker, many assumed the seventh entry would be the last. Taking into account the news earlier this week, we already understand that’s not the case at all. But now, it seems there’s no firm end in sight whatsoever. As exec Langley went on to say:
“We think there’s at least three more. Paul [Walker] is, and always will be, an integral part of the story. But there are many other great characters, and it’s also an opportunity to introduce new characters. I think it’s still a growing franchise.”
None of this comes as a massive shock, considering the success of each successive film. Studios aren’t willing to put the brakes on when there’s clearly a huge following to ensure repeat business. Universal’s decision to reintroduce Lin to the series, however, ought to ensure that while the plot barely changes, the action’s always a lot of fun.
You can line up for your next dose of thrills on April 3rd, 2015 when Furious 7 arrives in theatres.