The sixth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise will be split into two movies.
Vin Diesel, the star and a producer of Universal’s decade-long franchise, said that during the planning process of the new movie, the Fast and Furious creative team, which includes director Justin Lin and screenwriter Chris Morgan, realized that they would need a seventh movie to tell their story. The sixth and seventh are being written simultaneously, he said.
“With the success of this last one, and the inclusion of so many characters, and the broadening of scope, when we were sitting down to figure out what would fit into the real estate of number six, we didn’t have enough space,” Diesel told THR during the photoshoot for its Rule Breakers 2011 portfolio.
Fast Five moved the franchise from the genre of car-racing adventure to action-adventure heist, while garnering the best reviews in the franchise’s history and grossing an astonishing $626 million worldwide. Apart from reuniting supporting characters from previous movies, it added star power in the form of Dwayne Johnson. A coda at the end of the movie teases the return of a character played by Eva Mendes last seen in 2 Fast 2 Furious as well as the return of Michelle Rodriguez.
“We have to pay off this story, we have to service all of these character relationships, and when we started mapping all that out it just went beyond 110 pages,” Diesel explained. “The studio said, ‘You can’t fit all that story in one damn movie!’”
Diesel did not reveal details on whether the two movies would be two-parters or two standalone movies.
The actor returned to the franchise with the series’ fourth outing after appearing in an end-of-movie cameo in the third movie. The move proved so popular that it paved the way for the return of Diesel and original star Paul Walker.
The movies have proved unexpectedly resilient, something that may have to do with the themes of family and brotherhood, according to the creative team.
“It’s not about the action and the cars, which initially appealed to me when I was 25 years old,” said Walker. “Because if that’s all it was, it would have fallen off a long time ago.”