By this time next year, our world will be home to seven Fast and Furious films. This is truly the golden age of franchise cinema, and bless the broken road the allowed a seemingly throwaway feature about muscle cars and macho dudes to spawn one of the world’s most beloved and ballsy film franchises. But although the Fast franchise has managed to easily pivot from chronicling car racing and backyard barbecues into a full throttle heist series, there’s one alteration they’ve never been able to nail: those titles.
The franchise’s titling has never been uniform – like, at all – but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the world’s highest grossing series. What’s in a name? When it comes to Fast and Furious, well, not much.
The Fast and the Furious
The first film came complete with a moniker that has frequently been chopped down, chipped away at and even wholesale maimed. No, it’s not Fast and Furious or Fast & Furious or The Fast and Furious, it’s “The Fast and the Furious.” Far more unwieldy than it needs be? You know it – strip this thing for parts!
2 Fast 2 Furious
The first sequel hit theaters in 2003 with (easily) the most notable, amusing and bizarre title. Sure, it’s easy enough to joke about – why didn’t we get 3 Fast 3 Furious? – but there’s no confusion as to where this film falls in the series’ canon. If only they were all so simple.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Well, points for including the original film’s title as part of this complete title – all those “the’s” and all! – but why is it so hard to include a number or something else to indicate where the damn thing falls in the grand scheme of things? Perhaps because, in addition to its bad history with titling, the Fast franchise also enjoys playing around with timelines. We now know that the events of Tokyo Drift take place after the sixth film in the franchise, which could account for the 2006’s feature’s flimsy titling, but do we really think that the team was thinking that far in advance?
Fast & Furious
Oh, for fuck’s sake. Weirdly, even though the series had been around for almost ten years by the time the fourth film hit theaters, most people still seem to think that the franchise is simply “The Fast and Furious,” some wacky hybrid of the first film and the fourth’s films titles. Will this ever get any easier?
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.
Fast & Furious 6
If you’ve managed to hold on this long, this is probably where things are going to start tripping you up. The sixth film was referred to be a variety of titles during its creation and production – Fast Six was a popular one – but the film’s official title is “Fast & Furious 6.” Yup, no “the’s” and that number was not spelled out. And yet, the film’s title card revealed that it was actually named Furious Six, which at least goes neatly with its predecessor, even if they don’t make a lick of sense within the grand scheme of the series.
The latest feature in the series has been working under a number of assumed titles, including Fast & Furious 7, Fast Seven (or Fast 7) or even “the seventh one,” but now the film has gone ahead and announced its official title: Furious 7. What the hell are they going to name the next one? & 8? (That’s actually not so bad.)
Furious 7 will open on April 3rd. The film’s first trailer will debut on November 1st. Vroom vroom.