Fast and Furious 7 (2015)

Fast and Furious 7 PosterRelease Date: April 10, 2015

Directed by: James Wan

Written by: Chris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson

Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell

Synopsis:

After Dominic Toretto and his crew help take down Owen Shaw, his brother Ian Shaw wants revenge.

Paul Walker in Fast and Furious 6

Fast & Furious 7 has begun shooting. Heck, it’s been shooting — production began a week ago, and has (presumably) been going strong ever since. But even as Atlanta transforms into a hotbed of street racing, angry bald men and people jumping from cars onto other cars in slow motion, the rest of the world still doesn’t know how the late Paul Walker factors into all that. We know that the powers-that-be will be retiring Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner. We just don’t know how. But if a report from the New York Daily News is to be believed, then perhaps we do. According to the newspaper, Universal has hired four actors who very much resemble Walker and will use them to film Walker’s last scenes, later superimposing Walker’s face and voice onto theirs via CGI. Keep in mind this is still speculation; Universal is going the “no comment” route, and none of the stars have Tweeted or Facebooked anything regarding Walker’s many face-and-body doubles (as they’re prone to do). Until someone involved with Fast & Furious 7 admits that the film will have a weird CGI Paul Walker, we probably shouldn’t assume Fast & Furious 7 has a weird CGI Paul Walker.

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Paul Walker

Paul Walker’s last movie, Brick Mansions, is scheduled for an April 25, 2015 release according to Relativity Media. Earth to Echo, Relativity’s sci-fi adventure collaboration with Disney was originally pegged to this date, but has now been rescheduled for a July 2, 2014 arrival in theaters. Brick Mansions features Walker and Wu-Tang Clan founding member RZA, along with Parkour dynamo David Belle and Catalina Denis. An English-language remake of EuropaCorp’s French actioner Banlieue 13 (District B13), the story follows Walker as an undercover police officer who ventures into the dystopian urban wilds of a future Detroit, tasked with the mission of disarming a neutron bomb set to detonate in a tenement named Brick Mansions.

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Paul Walker

In the wake of actor Paul Walker’s untimely death back in November, the team behind his calling card blockbuster Fast and Furious franchise was stuck with the unfortunate task of deciding the future of the series while still mourning one of their stars. The car crash that claimed Walker’s life happened during a holiday break, with the Fast and Furious 7 cast and crew slated to return for more filming the following week, ensuring that the nasty business of actual business was going to have to infringe on the worse business of mourning. Basically – it may be crass to talk money and timing after someone dies, but deciding the fate of the billion-dollar franchise is also hugely important to the livelihood of hundreds of people involved with the series. After weeks of back and forth, buzz, and chatter, it seems as if Universal and the rest of the Fast team have decided on a course of action that’s respectable to Walker’s memory, feasible for the production team, and compelling for the franchise’s fan. Is it the best thing Universal could do in the face of Walker’s death? Well, yes.

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Fast And Furious 6

According to Vin Diesel, Fast and Furious 7 will see theaters in April 2015. It was planned for July 2014 until Paul Walker’s death put the project on hiatus. From his Facebook page, Diesel shared a picture that including this message: “The last scene we filmed together… There was a unique sense of completion, of pride we shared… in the film we were now completing… the magic captured… and, in just how far we’ve come…”

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Fast And Furious 6

Fast and Furious 7 is marked for a Summer 2014 release, and although it’s still unclear whether that launch date will remain following the sudden death of star Paul Walker, THR is reporting that the show will still go on despite a delay. The piece notes that much of the movie has already been shot, although the production team was scheduled to return following a Thanksgiving hiatus, and there was a January trip to Abu Dhabi scheduled to film additional scenes. On Sunday, Universal execs and director James Wan held a conference call to discuss options moving forward. The difficulty they face in proceeding without Walker is multifaceted. Obviously he was a large presence in the story, but the vehicular nature of his death also complicates (and potentially limits) what Wan and company will be able to do both concerning the story and the marketing while remaining respectful to the actor’s memory and his surviving family. Walker has two other films scheduled for release — the Hurricane Katrina drama Hours in December and the B13 remake Brick Mansions next November.

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russell

Fans of the rapidly expanding Fast & Furious franchise were initially elated to learn that action movie legend and all around awesome guy Kurt Russell was going to be the latest name to join the series’ ensemble come Fast & Furious 7. But somewhere around the time when Djimon Hounsou also got cast in the movie, conflicting reports started to float around as to whether or not he was actually going to be able to appear. Some thought he would just have a small cameo in 7, some thought he wouldn’t show up until 8, and there was even a fear he wouldn’t end up being involved in the franchise at all. As you can see from the picture above though—which Vin Diesel posted on his Facebook page along with the caption, “Kurt Russell, such an honor to work with… P.s. One from set…”—Kurt Russell is indeed on the set of director James Wan’s Fast & Furious 7, and he will indeed be sharing scenes with franchise stars Diesel and Paul Walker. So it’s not likely anyone is going to stop gushing about these movies anytime soon.

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lucasblack

If we can all agree that “jumping the shark” has undeniably become an actual term that really exists for describing the point where an entertainment property strays too far from its initial concept and loses its relevance, then it seems reasonable we would also have to agree that the Fast & Furious franchise seems to be the one property out there that looks to be completely immune from experiencing the phenomenon, no matter how many giant sharks it jumps its souped-up muscle cars over. Most successful movie franchises can spit out three, maybe four films before they start to feel completely tired, but here we are in the pre-production phase of Fast & Furious 7, and the series seems to still be picking up steam. Already we’ve heard about plans they have for a Fast & Furious 8, after all. If there was any period where it looked like the Fast & Furious franchise was actually going to fly off the rails and lose its profitability, it was with the third film in the series, Tokyo Drift though. That’s the film that failed to sign up franchise stalwarts Vin Diesel and Paul Walker for featured roles, and had to instead rely on telling its story through the eyes of a new protagonist played by Lucas Black. This didn’t work out so well because Black was terrible in the movie, everyone missed Diesel, and Tokyo Drift ended up making less than half of what the next-least profitable film in the series […]

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djimon

As if the next installment in the rapidly expanding and increasingly ridiculous Fast & Furious franchise, Fast & Furious 7, didn’t already bring enough star power to the table with returning favorites like Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Tyrese Gibson (and likely Dwayne Johnson, though his role looks to be be relegated to a cameo) and newcomers to the fold like Jason Statham and Ronda Rousey (and maybe Kurt Russell, though there are disputing reports as to whether his part had to be cut), first-time Fast director James Wan has just expanded the cast to also include a man who’s not only an Oscar nominated actor, but also a chiseled stud that made a lot of people blush when he posed in his underwear for Calvin Klein. According to a report from Variety, Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond, In America) is the latest actor who will go from being a mere mortal to becoming a fast-driving, explosion-surviving, over the top superhero in the Fast & Furious universe.

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SONY DSC

James Wan is one of the most adaptive directorial personalities in modern genre filmmaking, but his career didn’t always seem like it would turn out this way. Wan’s Saw was an indie mega-hit, spawning the most extensive horror franchise of the 21st century thus far. But Wan quickly distanced himself from the films, attempting to establish himself as a genre auteur of diverse skill sets. With his underwhelming one-two punch of Dead Silence and Death Sentence in 2007, he failed to develop a reputation away from the franchise that found continued success beyond him. But with Insidious and The Conjuring (this summer’s sleeper hit and one of the few pieces of Hollywood entertainment that actually entertained in the past few months), Wan found himself the modern master of the supernatural haunted house thriller, a horror sensibility miles away from the “torture porn” craze Wan’s franchise inception became associated with. This weekend sees the successful director helming his first sequel, Insidious Chapter 2, and Wan has signed on to make the next entry in the recently revived Fast/Furious franchise. Point being, Wan has proven himself against the limitations of the subgenre constraints he helped create, showing that he is a filmmaker interested in appealing to mass audiences through a variety of popular genres. So here’s some free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the director who forces us to ask how creepy dolls will fit into a movie about race cars and muscle-y bald men.

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Kurt Russel

Might Fast & Furious 7 be taking a page out of the Expendables playbook? The upcoming sequel in the CGI-cars-driving-really-really-fast franchise has already cast Jason Statham, Tony Jaa and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey; now Kurt Russell may be the newest addition. Variety is reporting that Russell is in talks for a role that, while unnamed, is the same role the franchise previously offered to Denzel Washington. So it’s probably a pretty big part. And like The Expendables movies, all these newcomers are either actions stars, former action stars, or professional fighters. Perhaps they’ll band together to form their villainous celebrity crew that will rival the one led by Vin Diesel? The smart money would be on Russell as some kind of murderous driver a la Death Proof, but whoever he is, we know he won’t be the main villain. That slot’s already taken by Statham, who’ll be playing Ian Shaw, the older brother of Fast & Furious 6 villain Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Or maybe Russell, Jaa and Rousey are the start of some brand new racing crew that’s being primed to take over when the regular Fast & Furious cast finally keels over from old age, or spin off into a sister series so Universal can churn these things out at double the pace. Considering that Fast & Furious 6 made more than $750M, I wouldn’t put it past them.

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Tony Jaa

Does anyone else remember when Tony Jaa walked off the set of Ong Bak 2 and into the jungle? He would later come back, of course, and finish not only Ong Bak 2 but a third movie, as well. It was one of those too-strange stories of production madness that seem to have followed the martial arts star throughout his career. Since the completion of Ong Bak 3 and its subsequent release in 2010, it’s been quiet-goings for Jaa, who has long been compared to action titans like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. The only major difference between Jaa and those other fine men is that while his films have travelled well into the United States, he himself has never crossed into Hollywood work. That ends soon for the Thai man of action, as he’s signed on to join Fast and Furious 7. Nope, that’s not a typo.

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jfc fast furious

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; we live our lives a quarter-pounder at a time. Speaking of, did you know that the word “franchise” isn’t always preceded by the words “fast food?” I know, we were just as shocked as you are. It appears it can also be used to refer to the collective sequels of a movie. Sometimes these sequels are fantastic, such as Friday the 13th VI, and sometimes they are just plain awful, such as…admittedly large chunks of Friday the 13th VI. However, the best franchises are those that are able to pull us into their individual universes to the point that we eagerly await each new entry regardless of he absurdity of its ever-rising titular numeral. Take for example, the Fast & Furious films; those drag-racing men in their driving machines (or how we flew from reason to crashing through cargo planes in six movies). It started out as an innocent remake of Point Break, with souped-up hot rods substituted for surfboards and Paul Walker‘s nonexistent charisma substituted for Keanu Reeves’ nonexistent charisma. However, the films have fastly and furiously become experiments in mayhem and extreme sports, if extreme stupidity is an extreme sport. For this reason, and the tractor-beam-like attraction of Vin Diesel‘s uni-muscle body composition, our initial apathy toward this franchise has morphed slowly into unhealthy petulant sense of ownership of that universe. At this point, The Fast & the Furious is our beloved annual-to-semi-annual visitor; a friendly second-cousin who happens to be equipped with […]

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Oblivion Bubble Ship

On this evening’s edition of Movie News After Dark, we take a closer look at Tom Cruise’s ride in Oblivion, get up close and personal with Silent Ben Affleck, see what Russ Meyer’s Star Wars universe might look like and get down and dirty with the Internet’s finest movie-related accomplishment: the Supercut.

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James Wan

The Fast and the Furious, successful as it was, probably never really struck anyone as the sort of film that would spawn a franchise that would make it to its seventh feature. But here we are, many years later, talking about Fast and Furious 7 anyway. The seventh installment in the franchise is a movie that’s going to see the series reaching a crossroads though. Much of the property’s longevity can probably be credited to director Justin Lin, who not only helmed the last four Fast films (including the yet-to-be-released Fast & Furious 6), but who gave the whole endeavor new life when he cast Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five and created a surprise hit that provided this money machine with a second wind. Lin has said that he needs a break from the series and that he isn’t going to helm Fast & Furious 7 though, so what is a studio to do now that they’ve got a franchise on their hands that is once again a big money maker, but that is about to lose the man who gave it its second life? Well, according to Deadline, they’re negotiating to bring on Saw director James Wan in hopes that he can keep the momentum going.

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the-rock

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.

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While writing F6st and the Furious, director Justin Lin, screenwriter Chris Morgan and star/producer Vin Diesel just couldn’t jam in all the story and character development they needed. Nay, that the story itself demanded. According to Diesel (via THR), they’ve decided to add a seventh movie into the franchise. “We have to pay off this story, we have to service all of these character relationships, and when we started mapping all that out it just went beyond 110 pages,” said Diesel. “The studio said, ‘You can’t fit all that story in one damn movie!’” Well, what were they expecting? The movies in this franchise have always been primarily about character arcs, emotional evolution, and providing audiences with a keyhole look into the soul of humanity. Plus, it’s helpful that Fast Five has made $626m worldwide so far. It seems crazy, but it’s wonderful to see such a dialogue-based, mature story being such a smash blockbuster commercially. Let’s all raise a glass to the intellectually nuanced F7st 7nd F7r777s! That is, if you can hear yourself thinking over the crunching of popcorn and revving engines.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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