The Fast and the Furious isn’t a franchise that takes itself too seriously. Whether it’s cars raining from the sky or Vin Diesel’s petrolhead Dominic Toretto rambling on about the importance of family for the umpteenth time, Universal’s series has developed a potent recipe of jaw-dropping, physics-defying action sequences and enough testosterone to sink a nuclear submarine.
And even though The Fate of the Furious marked the eighth installment in the franchise, the film’s record-shattering opening weekend – $532.5 million, to be precise, which is just north of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – proves that there’s still an almost insatiable appetite for the Fast and Furious recipe. However, midway through production on F. Gary Gray’s tentpole sequel, tensions bubbled to the fore, after reports emerged that Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs) butted heads on set. The beef was allegedly due to the amount of real estate given to each actor – that is, the amount of screentime and/or eye-catching action sequences in which Diesel and Johnson appeared – fuelling rumors that their fallout would have serious ramifications for the future of the series.
Turns out that’s not the case, with TMZ reporting that Diesel and Johnson have made amends in anticipation of Fast and Furious 9. Universal is yet to issue an official statement, and is unlikely to do so in fear that it’ll overshadow The Fate of the Furious. One actor that is absolutely game to return, though, is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 actor Kurt Russell. In the Fast universe, he plays the enigmatic operative known as Mr. Nobody, and though he was initially apprehensive about sequels in general, the acting legend told Screen Rant that he’s waiting for the call.
Well, all my life I’ve never been one for sequels and stuff. I’ve done it one time with Escape From LA, which was from Escape From New York, which was 17 years earlier. But we live in a different time now. We live in a time where that’s the norm. I’ve never had anything against it, I just think that each time what I think they’ve learned now, is that you can’t just throw a sequel out there because you did good business. You have to go after it to make it even better. It puts more pressure on you. That, I like! That, I think, is a challenge, and every time you look at what it is, and if you like it and you think you’ve got a reason to do it, you do it. If there’s not you don’t.
The Fate of the Furious is playing in theaters across the globe right now, and if you’re at all curious to know how F. Gary Gray’s all-star sequel stacks up, you’ll find Matt Donato’s verdict right here. Fast and Furious 9, meanwhile, has been slated for release in 2019.