Vin Diesel has announced via Instagram that three more Fast and Furious Films are to come in the next 5 years. But is it too soon for Universal Studios to invest so much time and money into a franchise that has recently lost one of its main and most beloved actors?
Allow me to backtrack a moment...
The other night at work my coworker and I were discussing celebrities who have died suddenly and too young, and how fans react so strongly despite never actually knowing the person. I know, a real cheery topic, but what she said during this encounter made me stop and think. She said, "I don't think I've ever liked anyone that much."
I immediately had to disagree. There are quite a few who have touched my life as celebrities and whom, upon their unexpected passing, I mourned even though I never met them. And the ones that I thought of right away were just the ones who died during my time, not even thinking about the ones who died when I was too young to realize their impact or the ones who died before I was even born.
It made me think of a quote I heard in a documentary about Elvis Presley (another great gone too soon):
We become emotionally invested in these people. We invite them into our homes and lives and we enjoy having them there just as we do our close friends and family members.
One of the first of these celebrities that came to mind was Paul Walker. Although I was only 10 years old when The Fast and the Furious came out, that didn't stop me from watching it with my motorhead brother (who was 6 years older) and loving it just as much. Eight years later in 2009, I lost my brother to depression. Since that day, I have cherished the Fast and Furious movies even more, being the first to buy tickets to see it and the first in the theater on opening day.
Then, in late 2013, we lost Paul. It felt like the whole car world was in shock and mourning and I went home that night and bawled. When I went to see Furious 7 last year, it felt different. I knew I was going there to say goodbye to what felt like an old friend, and a piece of my brother's soul.
The day after my conversation with my coworker, Vin Diesel posted the following:
This post made me stop and think again.
I was expecting at least one more F&F movie to wrap things up after Paul's passing, but personally, I'm not sure I can handle three. No doubt, I will go to see them all anyway, as I am loyal to my passions, but I am not sure it feels right. I can't say there shouldn't be anymore movies, that the saga should end, because that is simply not fair to the other actors and actresses from the series whom I also adore. Plus, surely Paul would want it all to continue. I think it's safe to say I am conflicted.
Most people will decidedly go to see "Fast 8" to see what the production does with the first full movie without Paul (at least, the first one in which he's not alive), but unless they do a really good job of pulling it off, I think it's going to be difficult to keep viewers who are not diehard fans coming back, because the main and most important on-screen relationship (and it's chemistry) of Brian and Dom (Vin Diesel) won't be there anymore. Not to mention the question of whether Jordana Brewster is returning to reprise her role as Mia, Brian's wife, who is the other relationship of importance to Brian O'Conner's character. Jordana would be another great loss to the series if they can't figure out a way to keep her in the next 3 movies.
I will, of course, be rooting for the production team and everyone involved with the rest of the saga, and I hope it all works out for the best, but I sadly cannot deny my doubts.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming Fast and Furious movies? Share your views in the comments section.