The Fast and the Furious 7

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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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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