ByRob Harris, writer at Creators.co
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

The Fast & Furious franchise is now so well established that it's hard to picture anyone in the core family group being played by someone else. We've come on a long and emotional journey with the cast and characters, but, little did you know, that journey could have been very, very different.

These are the actors who were seriously considered for Fast & Furious - how drastically different would the franchise have been if they'd landed the role?

Brian O’Connor - Eminem, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg

Of course, the late Paul Walker will forever hold his place in the hearts and minds of fans, but did you know that he wasn't always destined for the role of Brian? In fact, a certain prolific rapper was at one time considered for the driver's seat - Marshall Mathers + nitrous oxide would have made for a completely bonkers ride.

Other candidates for the undercover-cop-turned-street-racer included Batman himself, Christian Bale, and Marky Mark Whalberg.

Luke Hobbs - Tommy Lee Jones

Wait, WHAT?! The seriously stacked fortress of a man, Luke Hobbs, was almost played by Tommy Lee Jones! With hindsight, this casting choice seems 100% bonkers, but the role was in fact written with Jones or Josh Brolin in mind before Dwayne Johnson stepped up. Good job, too - I can't quite imagine the aging actor being quite as intimidating as this:

And if that surprised you, check out the A-listers considered for the role of Mia...

Mia - Natalie Portman, Bijou Phillips, Jessica Biel, Kirsten Dunst, Sarah Michelle Gellar

The high-octane franchise almost landed itself some Oscar pedigree in the form of Natalie Portman! She certainly would've lent the series an extra touch of class.

Unspecified Role - Denzel Washington

Hollywood heavyweight Denzel Washington was offered a 'major part' in Furious 7, but ultimately turned it down. I would've loved to have seen that happen!

Bonus: Dame Helen Mirren

Your eyes aren't deceiving you - prolific British actress Dame Helen Mirren has openly expressed her desire to join the close-knit family, telling Vin Diesel to "get your act together" and invite her onboard. Vin replied:

"I respect that she's coming out and saying, 'I don't care what anyone thinks. I know the deal. I know I want to work with this dude, and I know I want to work with this franchise.'"

We'll have to wait and see if she takes to the wheel for the eighth installment.

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