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.
Vin Diesel leaves a West Hollywood gym after a workout. (Sept. 27, 2011)
*Vin Diesel has confirmed there will be a six and seventh movie in the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
The star and a producer of Universal’s decade-long franchise said that during the planning process of the sixth movie, the creative team – which includes director Justin Lin and screenwriter Chris Morgan – realized that they would need a seventh movie to tell their story. The sixth and seventh are being written simultaneously, he said.
“With the success of this last one, and the inclusion of so many characters, and the broadening of scope, when we were sitting down to figure out what would fit into the real estate of number six, we didn’t have enough space,” Diesel told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Fast Five” moved the franchise from the genre of car-racing adventure to action-adventure heist, while garnering the best reviews in the franchise’s history and grossing an astonishing $626 million worldwide.
Apart from reuniting supporting characters from previous movies, it added star power in the form of Dwayne Johnson. A coda at the end of the movie teases the return of a character played by Eva Mendes last seen in “2 Fast 2 Furious” as well as the return of Michelle Rodriguez.
“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,” Diesel explained. “The studio said, ‘You can’t fit all that story in one damn movie!’”
Diesel did not reveal details on whether the two movies would be two-parters or two standalone movies.
The actor returned to the franchise with the series’ fourth outing after appearing in an end-of-movie cameo in the third movie. The move proved so popular that it paved the way for the return of Diesel and original star Paul Walker.
Director Spike Lee attends the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey
*Spike Lee is the latest director rumored to be circling the Hollywood remake of Park Chan-Wook´s acclaimed 2003 cult hit “Oldboy” at Mandate Pictures.
The original film detailed a man’s mysterious kidnapping, 15-year imprisonment and feverish quest for revenge upon being released.
Attempts at a remake have been underway since the first film’s release – with Justin Lin and Nicolas Cage pursuing one version, and later Will Smith and Steven Spielberg said to be teaming for another version. Both projects fell apart.
Signs of life began to seep back into the project late last year and now Lee’s name has become linked, according to Twitchfilm. Mark Protosevich (“Thor,” “I Am Legend”) wrote the script while Doug Davison and Roy Lee are producing.
*The director of “Fast Five” has confirmed plans for another Fast and Furious sequel in the wake of its $86.2 million opening weekend at the U.S. box office.
Filmmaker Justin Lin insists the turbo-charged movie’s success means a sixth installment is inevitable.
“After this big weekend, we’re going forward. It’s pretty much 100 per cent,” he tells USA Today. “It’s going to happen. At five, we’re just hitting our stride. We’re growing. People want to continue this journey.”
*Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead a reunion of returning all-stars from every chapter of the explosive franchise built on speed in Fast Five. Newly joined by Dwayne Johnson, they take the series that hooked the world on adrenaline and amp up the action and spectacle on a global scale.
In Fast Five, former cop Brian O’Conner (Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Diesel) in a very unfamiliar place: the opposite side of the law in exotic Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Elsa Pataky joins Johnson and returning favorites Jordana Brewster, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Tyrese Gibson in an ultimate high-stakes heist.
The series that first captivated audiences a decade ago with its crew of underground Los Angeles street racers bound by a code of family and loyalty takes its die-hard audience on the biggest thrill ride to date.
After blasting through heart-stopping runs in Miami’s race circuit, exposing the insular underworld of Tokyo drifting and rocketing through tunnels hidden underneath the U.S./Mexico border, our heroes are back in action.
Since we last saw them, Brian and Mia Toretto (Brewster) broke Dom out of custody and have blown across many borders to elude authorities. Now backed into a corner in Rio, they must pull off one last job in order to gain their freedom. Their mission? Assemble an elite team of top operatives made up of their family of friends to orchestrate an insane heist worth $100 million. Dom and Brian know their only shot of getting out for good means crippling the corrupt businessman (JOAQUIM DE ALMEIDA) who wants them dead. But he’s not the only one on the unlikely allies’ tails.
Hard-nosed federal agent Luke Hobbs (Johnson) never misses his target. When he is assigned to track down Dom and Brian, he and his strike team launch an all-out assault to capture them. But as his men tear through Brazil, Hobbs learns he can’t separate the good guys from the bad. Now, he must rely on his instincts to corner his prey…before someone else runs them down first.
Returning to this installment is a talented production crew of series favorites, led by director and executive producer JUSTIN LIN (Fast & Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Better Luck Tomorrow) and producers NEAL H. MORITZ (The Fast and the Furious series, I Am Legend, The Green Hornet, Battle: Los Angeles), Vin Diesel (Fast & Furious, Los Bandoleros) and MICHAEL FOTTRELL (Fast & Furious, Live Free or Die Hard).
CHRIS MORGAN (Fast & Furious, Wanted) writes from characters created by GARY SCOTT THOMPSON (The Fast and the Furious, television’s Las Vegas).
Also rejoining the series is an accomplished behind-the-scenes team, including cinematographer STEPHEN F. WINDON (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, HBO’s miniseries The Pacific), editors CHRISTIAN WAGNER (Fast & Furious, Mission: Impossible II), KELLY MATSUMOTO (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) and FRED RASKIN (Fast & Furious, Kill Bill series), costume designer SANJA MILKOVIC HAYS (The Fast and the Furious series, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor), composer BRIAN TYLER (The Fast and the Furious series, Rambo) and executive producer AMANDA LEWIS (Fast & Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) and SAMANTHA VINCENT (Fast & Furious). Production designer PETER WENHAM (The Bourne Ultimatum, Battle: Los Angeles) joins Lin’s group for Fast Five.
Lin knew if he were to helm his third film in the series, the expectations from the fans would be huge, he offers: “I know the action in this one is bigger than the last two combined. There are about six action pieces in this movie, not just car chases, but foot chases and a heist as well. It’s just jam-packed. For me, each chapter in this franchise is an extension of the first one, and they each get bigger. It is always a privilege to be able to revisit a good character-driven story. This franchise is more than street racing and tuner cars; it really is about this larger family and community of racers.
The idea of assembling more alumni had been floated around during preproduction of Fast & Furious, but it had been ultimately shelved when the storyline began to focus more on Dom and Brian and the women in their lives. The premise lingered, however, and the team returned to the idea after the film’s record-breaking release in 2009. Shares Moritz: “Bringing everybody back was sitting in the back of our heads when we did the fourth one. Once we saw the audience reaction to Fast & Furious’ combination of Vin, Paul, Jordana and Michelle, we all had that collective ‘wow’ moment. There’s this storied history for each of the characters throughout the franchise so it begged the question, ‘What if we brought them all back?’”
When the production team began work on Fast Five, they understood that the themes of family, loyalty and sacrifice that are so deeply entrenched into the series bring fans back again and again. Introducing a formidable enemy who threatens to bring down Dom, Brian and their crew solidified when Dwayne Johnson expressed interest in joining the franchise. It was a coup for the filmmakers to cast the action star in a role that has him go head-to-head against such a celebrated character as Diesel’s hero. After witnessing the fight scene, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges sums up the cast’s feelings: “You have Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson up against Vin Diesel. There hasn’t been anything this big since King Kong vs. Godzilla. Period.”
* * * *
Universal Pictures presents-an Original Film/One Race Films production-a Justin Lin film: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker in Fast Five, starring Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Matt Schulze, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Joaquim de Almeida and Dwayne Johnson.
The action-thriller’s music is by Brian Tyler, and casting is by Debra Zane, CSA. The costume designer is Sanja Milkovic Hays and the editors are Christian Wagner, Kelly Matsumoto, Fred Raskin. The film’s production designer is Peter Wenham and the director of photography is Stephen F. Windon, ACS. The executive producers are Amanda Lewis, Samantha Vincent, Justin Lin.
*Universal Pictures is revving up for another sequel to its “Fast and Furious” franchise, with director Justin Lin and original stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker set to return.
Variety is reporting that the studio has closed deals with all three, as well as producer Neal Moritz, to return to the franchise, which has become one of the studio’s most lucrative.
Production will begin later this year for a 2011 release. This time, the storyline finds Dom (Diesel) and Brian (Walker) as fugitives being pursued by relentless lawmen.
Diesel and Walker sat out the third chapter in the series but returned for last year’s fourth installment, which was the highest-grossing “Fast and Furious” film and Universal’s top grosser of 2009. Its box office haul was more than $350 million worldwide.