Fast & Furious 7

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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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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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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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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