Denzel Washington attends the '2 Guns' premiere at SVA Theater in New York City. (July 29, 2013)

Denzel Washington attends the ‘2 Guns’ premiere at SVA Theater in New York City.
(July 29, 2013)

*”Fast & Furious 7” director James Wan, who replaces Justin Lin at the helm of the street-racing film series, said he had approached Denzel Washington about taking on a villainous role – but the Oscar winner declined, reports Deadline.com.

Had a deal been worked out, Washington’s character would have been introduced in next year’s “Fast & Furious” movie in a minor role, before taking on a major role in the eighth installment of the franchise.

Producers used a similar tactic earlier this summer with “Fast & Furious 6” when “Transporter” actor Jason Statham was introduced at the end of the movie as a new villain, who will become the main antagonist in the 2014 follow-up.

Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster are all expected to reprise their roles for the seventh movie.

Diesel – who also produces the series – recently revealed that the franchise will next shoot in Japan, after filming the sixth installment in London and the fifth in Rio de Janeiro.

“Fast & Furious 7” is due for release in July 2014.