Netflix is about to introduce a new member of the Toretto clan on the small screen.
The Fast and Furious family is about to get even bigger, and in a different medium too. The franchise famous for turning a basic street racing premise into a highly profitable long-running series about cartoonishly exaggerated international heists will become an animated show on Netflix.
According to Deadline, the series, simply if repetitively titled Fast & Furious, will center on an offshoot of the core family that we’ve seen in the live-action films so far. The Fast & Furious show will focus on Tony Toretto, the teenage cousin of Vin Diesel‘s iconic protagonist Dominic Toretto. Tony wants to follow in Dom’s footsteps, but not just in the racing arena. The younger Toretto will be recruited by a government agency in order to infiltrate criminal organization fronting as a prestigious racing league.
In a bid to fill the void left by franchise co-star Paul Walker in the wake of his untimely death in 2013, the Fast franchise miraculously kept its footing as it changed course in its newest offering, The Fate of the Furious, to focus solely on the Torettos as a unit. In light of this, the animated series sounds just as delightfully ridiculous as the movies that came before it. Focusing on a younger protagonist may be an attempt to skew the series towards a similarly youthful demographic as well. Even the kids who aren’t super tuned in to what Diesel and his crew are up to these days could have a gateway into the franchise via this brand new character updated for the Gen Z age.
Either way, Melissa Cobb, Netflix’s VP of Kids and Family, assures fans that the Fast & Furious Netflix show will “capture the action, heart, humor and global appeal of the feature films” regardless of who’s in the driver’s seat.
The franchise started out small, focusing on gleeful young adults up to no good in the fast lane. Preventing world domination was hardly on anyone’s mind. However, the movies took a turn for the grand and gritty with the fifth installment, Fast Five. Since then the Fast series has settled into a different niche of ostentatious adrenaline junkie goodness, upping the ante with each new sequel and eventually allowing a tank to face off with a submarine in The Fate of the Furious.
The Fast series is unadulterated popcorn fare with no illusions about itself. It has proven to be so well-loved that a spin-off focusing on some newer characters, Hobbs and Shaw, is in the works.
Yet the sheer preposterousness of the franchise’s overarching schtick makes it ideal for an animated spin-off. These movies are, at their core, very basic and emotion-driven (how many times are we reminded that this is about family?). The Fast films have consistently comprised diverse casts over the years too, making them easily accessible. The fact that they blatantly defy the laws of physics from the get-go and are intently interested in slick, high-octane shenanigans is the cherry on top of the sundae. Animation can only take the high-flying, unrealistic stunts to a whole other level.
Fast & Furious is the first confirmed series to come out of the expansion of a multi-year deal between Netflix and DreamWorks Animation Television. Acquired by Comcast-NBCUniversal, DWA Television’s extended deal aims to produce original content based on existing Universal properties. As a studio, DWA Television has a notable track record when it comes to producing kids entertainment. After all, they’re responsible for bringing Guillermo del Toro’s vibrant fantasy series Trollhunters to life. Fans of the Fast movies can thus keep their expectations high for a series that will tick all requisite boxes.