Remember just a couple of weeks ago when word was being batted around that the next installment of the "Fast & Furious" franchise might actually be two movies shot back-to-back and that Jason Statham himself was being eyed to lead the movies? Well, you can forget about the latter part for now (it seems Statham is being linked to anything with two movies these days, and he recently shot down the "Transformers" sequel reports as pure internet rumors). However, the idea of a double fuel injected "Fast & Furious 6" and "Fast & Furious 7" is picking up steam.
Over at 24 Frames, they've picked up the story and have filled in the details slightly more. While all we knew before was that the production was eyeing a possible European shoot, it appears that the franchise is going to go epic. Apparently, the story in the next movie is gonna be so big, they're gonna need two movies to tell the tale -- just like "The Hobbit" and "Breaking Dawn," though no word yet if Vin will loose his viriginity. The plan is still to shoot these in one go, however, the production will be so massive, the current May 24, 2013 date for "Fast & Furious 6" may be moved to give director Justin Lin time in the editing bay to get it done, so he's not worrying about shooting part 7 and editing part 6 all at the same time.
And while this may be considered "risky" on behalf of Universal, they have a rare breed of a franchise on their hands. Aside from "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," every successive entry in the series has made more than the last and "Fast Five" made triple the worldwide haul of the first movie, taking in over $600 million. Clearly, this is a brand/tentpole with plenty of gas left in the tank (sorry, we had to) and with more eyeballs than ever on the adventures of Vin Diesel and his crew, two more movies, with exotic locales and big stars, will be greeted by the movie-going public with open arms.
As for when this will shoot it doesn't seem likely to get rolling until Diesel gets his gestating Riddick sequel no one wants in the can. He's dying to get it made and has been working close with director David Twohy, though a greenlight at Universal has still eluded them thus far. But we'd reckon if the studio wants to keep their franchise star happy, something will be worked out so he can do his sci-fi vanity project before coming back to make Universal a whole lot of money driving cars really fast. Or actually, the series may not be about that at all any more. Or least not completely. In the spring Universal Chairman Adam Fogelson said "Fast Five" was a “transitional movie" and that future installments will likely have more of a heist/adventure angle, with car handling abilities only part of the story.
Regardless, Paul Walker is guaranteed a steady paycheck for the next little while and if anything, that means we can sleep easy tonight.