Much ado has been made lately about how Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has seen both his own career and the fates of several movie series revived due to the seemingly magical formula of adding him to floundering franchises whose original installments he wasn’t a part of. Yes, due to his involvement in Fast Five pulling that series from the brink of death and his inclusion in G.I. Joe: Retaliation forcing everyone to give that film a chance even though the original was DOA, many in the media have gone as far as to anoint the man as being “franchise Viagra.”
Of course, all of those Viagra adds warn us that if our erection lasts for more than 4 hours we should call a doctor, so does that mean that if Johnson’s current momentum leads to 4 or more sequels getting added to a franchise, we should start to become worried? That possible future could be coming sooner than you think, because recent reports make it look like it’s full speed ahead for the Fast & Furious and G.I. Joe franchises.
First off, /Film found an interesting tidbit that Vin Diesel had posted on his Facebook page regarding the future of his cars going fast franchise. He wrote to his fans, “There was an early screening in LA this week of Fast 6. The crowd reaction was surreal… and their demand for the continuation was powerful… It’s remarkable to think I first embodied this character in 1999… and the evolution continues. P.s. Filming begins this summer in LA, where it all started… talk about a studio in sync with the audience…”
It should be noted that this message was eventually taken down, but whether that means the studio just doesn’t want Diesel talking about Fast 7 until Fast 6 can get a proper release, or that the start date for filming on Fast 7 isn’t quite official, his words have to be seen as an indication that the studio is enthusiastic about the franchise’s future and are looking to get more made as soon as possible. There’s even been some indication that a spinoff for Johnson’s Luke Hobbs character could be happening sometime around the filming of Fast 7, so that would make for 4 Fast movies that he’s involved with already.
Over on the G.I Joe front, Variety is reporting that, even though the Johnson-starring G.I. Joe: Retaliation has only been out for a few days, Paramount has taken one look at its $132m opening weekend and green lit development on a third film. In addition to the franchise mojo that Johnson’s bulging muscles and shining smile work, the film’s financial success is also being largely attributed to the more expensive prices that converting the second film into 3D allowed them to charge, so when G.I. Joe 3 eventually comes along, definitely expect Johnson’s Road Block to be featured prominently, and definitely expect for the film to be released in 3D. And probably you can start up the rumors that Jason Statham is going to be joining the movie as Shipwreck too. If they worked to get Fast & Furious 7 into production this fast, surely they can work for G.I. Joe 3 as well.