The Fast and Furious movies witnessed a rebirth with the release of Fast Five. Three movies later, the franchise is more successful than ever. To give you an idea of just how much, #FateoftheFurious had the highest grossing global opening weekend in history.
In light of that, #VinDiesel revealed that F8 would be the start of a new trilogy. But with that kind of success, a lot of us wondered just for how long Universal would continue making movies about Dom & co's adventures on the big screen. "Could it go on for another decade?" was the question that often came up. But no. The end is (relatively) near, as it turns out.
Producer Neal Moritz sat down with Collider for an interview. There, he was asked about a touchy subject: Universal's long-term plan for the series. He gave a definitive answer.
The End Of A Furious Era
The topic of Diesel's aforementioned comments regarding a new trilogy came up. Moritz was asked whether that plan was still in place, and just how quickly they would get to work on #Fast9. The producer replied
"Our plan is to go as quickly as we can under the idea that we gotta have a great story and be ready to go. And, honestly, we have some big themes and things we’re talking about, we’re just not there in terms of where exactly we’re gonna go yet. We kind of have the ending point of the franchise, but we don’t know the in-betweens yet."
That's when he confirmed the plan to end the franchise with the tenth film:
"The plan is to make two more movies."
That decision didn't come at random but after a process of figuring out what would be best for the story and characters. Jumping off of Moritz' reveal that there was already an outline for the end of the franchise, the chat moved on to...
The Development Process
When asked about whether the idea came from either Vin Diesel, Chris Morgan or himself, Moritz stated:
"That’s just all of us kind of putting our heads together and coming together with something that we think is very special."
Two-parters that close the book on successful franchises are not a rare occurrence. To take full advantage of their budget, movies like The Deathly Hallows, Fifty Shades and Infinity War turn to back-to-back productions. With that in mind, Moritz was asked if they would employ that method for Fast 9 and 10.
For now, it looks like that's not the case:
"We’ve considered it, but you’ve seen what goes into the making of these movies. It’s just daunting. That would mean we would need to have two scripts finished, which we have enough of a hard time getting one script ready in time. And it would just mean we would end up shooting like 160 days straight, and it’s just too much. I just don’t think we can do it."
With today's penchant of turning out blockbusters as fast as possible, it's great to know that they're actually taking their time to craft these last few adventures. Speaking of planning ahead...
The Rise Of A Future Antagonist
Now, beware, because this section contains some spoilers for #Fast8. Getting back to what the producer said about already having a notion of where the story will go, Moritz was asked about a certain key character (to keep spoilers to a minimum, that character will remain a mystery) that begins to show signs of a villainous turn.
Could that person return as an antagonist in preparation for the end of all things in the street-racing/espionage saga? Turns out that yes:
"I think the antagonist will figure into the films, I don’t know exactly how yet [...] The honest answer is yes. We would love –without saying a pronoun– to be involved in the next couple of films. 100%."
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So it looks like the seeds for the end were planted since Fate of the Furious. I must admit, that's really cool.
Now, this reveal may have taken some fans by surprise and could even get some people worried. But there's something to consider: The Fast and Furious saga could run into the same problem long-lasting TV shows often encounter: Running out of stories and freshness.
Eventually, regardless of how much money Fate of the Furious and its successors make, audiences will get tired of getting stories set in that same universe. Therefore, in reality, this is a great move for Universal. To quote Harvey Dent:
"You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
Fortunately, we still have a few years to go until #Fast10 comes along, so the creative team has a good amount of time to shape the film. Fate of the Furious is in theaters right now, so check it out.
How do you feel about Fast and Furious ending after 'Fast 10'?