The cast of [Furious 7](movie:264263) and the rest of the Fast and Furious movies is really quite diverse. It's one of the elements of the series that makes it so interesting. The franchise has included people of all backgrounds and cultures, and some would say it's managed to connect those different people in a really organic way.
I would venture to say that Paul Walker and Vin Diesel's brotherly bond did a pretty cool thing... it was tangible evidence that being somebody's brother (or sister) doesn't depend on looking like that other man (or woman). Rather, it really just comes down to having the other person's back and respecting and trusting them.
Audiences have shown that they too are diverse. Take a look at these statistics... in North America, a whopping 75% of the viewers of Furious 7 were non-white. This is how it broke down:
- Hispanics: 37%
- Caucasians: 25%
- African Americans: 24%
- Asians: 10%
It's also an incredibly international film, taking place in multiple different countries (Abu Dhabi, Japan, the Dominican Republic, etc). They probably have that international flair to thank for the film's success, especially in the 26 countries (including Mexico and Taiwan) where the film had the biggest openings ever.
As the world becomes more diverse and connected, this could be a trend that we see going forward. The days of all white casts being the safest way to make a movie are over.
In fact, Fast & Furious may have highlighted this phenomenon quite well, but [Pacific Rim](movie:204401) came first, touting a diverse cast and breaking records in China, which is obviously a massive (and growing) market. The cast was a mix of some differing backgrounds and ethnicities, including Idris Elba, Rinki Kikuchi and Charlie Hunnam.
I think there may be some people out there who are afraid of the implications for white actors, but I think there are a couple reasons not to fear...
First of all, there will always be white representation on film, it just needs to be off-set a little bit more and, should especially include Asian actors who are such a huge group in our world but often haven't had that spotlight on any TV shows or films... but I think that is changing rapidly. Which is a good thing.
Also, most of the Oscar-bait movies this year were mostly white. I don't think it's a problem, I mean, there should be more love shown to non-white films, but for films in a certain time period, it only makes sense to cast mostly white characters, etc.
I just think the times are a changin', and Furious 7 is a stark example of that.