Even by The Fast and the Furious standards, Tokyo Drift has always been considered something of an oddity within Universal’s box office juggernaut.
Chronologically speaking, it slots in between Fast and Furious 6 and 2015’s Furious 7 on the franchise’s somewhat convoluted timeline – hence why Sung Kang’s fan-favorite Han was able to appear in multiple films after Tokyo Drift‘s launch in 2006 – but as it turns out, screenwriter Chris Morgan wrote the original draft with Vin Diesel in mind, not Lucas Black’s high school student Sean Boswell.
Per Uproxx, Morgan confirmed that he initially envisioned The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift as a sort of murder-mystery in which Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto is forced to enter the dangerous underworld of high-speed drifting to solve the case. It’s a far cry from the end result that zoomed into theaters more than a decade ago, where Diesel held a small cameo role at the tail-end of the movie, but Chris Morgan’s revelation makes for some interesting reading nonetheless.
“Originally, I started as a fan. I went to see the original film at a late-night showing. I just loved that brotherhood between Dom and Brian. And then I got asked to do the third movie. There was an open writing call for the third film. I think originally I came in and pitched. Essentially it was Tokyo Drift, 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.
“It is so funny. It could have been the death throes, and then thankfully, the thing that kind of saved us was that we got Vin at the very end of the movie to come in and kind of hint where we’re going to go in the future. That moment at the end, everyone’s like, ‘Oh my God, what does this mean? Are they going to do something else?’ And that gave us 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. So it all kind of built from there.”
Next up for Universal’s marquee franchise is the launch of The Fate of the Furious this coming weekend, which is expected to do gangbusters at the box office despite mixed reviews. It heralds the beginning of a new trilogy of souped-up actioners, too, what with two additional F&F movies penciled in for 2019 and 2021.