The Fate of the Furious carved up cinema screens earlier this year, cranking up its automobile action beyond anything we’d seen in the franchise before (and we’d seen some pretty crazy shit). It currently holds the distinction of amassing the all-time biggest opening weekend in global box office history, too, having snared a gargantuan $532 million. This, despite persistent rumors of on-set feuding between its stars and a slightly tepid critical reception.
The theatrical cut has just been released on Blu-ray and DVD, but director F. Gary Gray is also putting together a special director’s cut which apparently adds a lot of footage to the film that was previously left on the cutting room floor. There was a mild kerfuffle on release when the news broke that series producer and star Vin Diesel had demanded that scenes involving Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham be dropped from the movie, apparently due to them being shot without his knowledge. Might these scenes return in this cut?
Well, it’s hard to say, but we might get a clue from the director himself. In an interview with Screen Rant, Gray sets out exactly what we’re to expect:
“I said, “Hey listen, my original was longer. Let’s figure out how we can put more action more laughs more character in an extended [version]. And the studio agreed that there was a lot of great stuff that ended up on the floor, so we ended up putting 13 minutes back into the movie. If you watch any of my movie you know I love humor no matter what the genre is, so there’s more humor – it’s funnier. More Roman, more lamborghini, more action, more hacked cars, more Cuba, more of some of the kind of the great’s action moments.
But there’s also a few dramatic moments that I got a chance to let breathe a little. There are few between Charlize’s character and Vin’s character, so I’m really happy that they gave the audience option of watching an extended version. It’s a little edgier and funnier, so that’s what this cut represents and I hope that everybody gets a chance to see it.”
13 minutes is quite a lot to slot back into the film, and given that the all-too-brief Cuba set sequences were one of my personal highlights, it’s good to hear that we’ll be seeing more of them. But perhaps more interesting to F&F aficionados is the added depth promised for Charlize Theron’s character.
Persistent rumors point to a possible spinoff movie involving Theron’s villain, with Dwayne Johnson apparently eager to put some narrative flesh on the bones of muscular speed demon Luke Hobbs, free of the franchise’s expansive ensemble cast. Time will tell what Vin Diesel has to say about that though, as he seems to be exerting a firm grip on the direction of the series.
No word yet on a release date for The Fate of the Furious director’s cut, though I’d bet on a debut in time for the busy Holiday period. Will we finally see the much hyped deleted scenes that got Diesel so riled up? At this point, only Gray and the actor know for sure.