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While Fast & Furious 6 is the sixth installment of the popular franchise, the engine has just been revved.
Fast fans gathered at the Gibson Amphitheatre on the Universal Citywalk on Tuesday as stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Gal Gadot, Luke Evans and Elsa Pataky and director/executive producer Justin Lin hit the red carpet.
Set to the backdrop of a rousing performance by Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz and Ludacris, the cast and creative team posed for the cameras and greeted fans before the movie premiered.
The latest Fast film involves Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) enlisting Dominic Teretto (Diesel) and former FBI agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) to hunt down European car thieves who are involved in vehicle warfare.
But with four films and eight years of work under his belt with the cast and creative team, Lin will not be returning for the recently announced Fast & Furious 7, instead handing control over to director James Wan.
Asked what advice he’d give to Wan, whose credits include Insidious and Saw, Lin praised his successor’s past work.
“I don’t know if James needs any advice because he’s a really good filmmaker,” Lin told The Hollywood Reporter. “He has a point of view, and I think that’s something that makes these films fun to do. Even though they’re big, full of action and it’s big in scope, if you have a point of view that makes it fun and interesting.”
This would appear to be a bittersweet exit for Lin, however, who described the cast and crew as “family.”
“It’s been eight years — eight years in Hollywood is like 60 years,” he said. “We’ve gone through a lot, and to be standing here, I know that although I won’t be on set that we’ll always be family.”
Although Johnson, Walker and Jordana Brewster were unable to attend the premiere, other actors echoed Lin’s sentiments.
Gadot, who reprises her role Gisele in the film, said it felt like “a family reunion” to work with the cast and production team again. The actress added that she feels “so privileged” to work with her “friends that [she] loves.”
While Evans is new to the franchise as Shaw, the villainous leader of the European car thieves, he said that he immediately fit in with the Fast & Furious clan and felt fortunate to join the franchise as one of its first villains.
“I felt the responsibility of it, but I also realized that this is my chance to stand up against a team of very established characters in a franchise that is very established and very successful,” Evans told THR. “I thought, ‘What a great time to join a franchise when it’s bigger and better than ever before.’ ”
Bigger and better seems to be what Lin was striving for with the latest installment, telling THR that he was finally able to achieve his goals for the franchise.
“We definitely had more momentum than ever,” Lin said. “I think when I first came on this franchise, I wanted to help grow it and evolve it. So, coming into six, it feels like we finally came into where the dream is.”
Diesel, who closed the red carpet musical performance by thanking the fans, also announced the production of Fast and Furious 7.
With 2011’s Fast Five garnering $626 million worldwide, Fast & Furious 6 remains one of the most highly-anticipated films of the summer.
Fast & Furious 6 opens in theaters Friday.
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