Outside of “Fast & Furious,” Vin Diesel doesn’t really get the box office motor running (did you go see “The Last Witch Hunter“? Didn’t think so…) so it’s not a big surprise that the actor, a producer on the stunts ‘n spectacle series, has found a way to keep things going. Nor is it exactly a shock that Universal wants to expand the universe of one of their most successful franchises ever. Just another day in Hollywood.
Variety reports that “Fast & Furious” spinoffs are in the works, with the plan to give individual characters their own standalone films. There’s no word yet on which roles will be expanded, but does anyone actually care about the continuing adventures of, I dunno, Tej Parker, played by Ludacris? Don’t audiences want to sit down with a big bowl of popcorn and watch cars do things that by all logic and science, they can’t do? Maybe I’m wrong, but Universal is banking on people caring about stuff beyond explosions with this series.
“You can’t keep having every movie have bigger and bigger stunts forever and ever and ever,” Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group told the trade. “Eventually you have to really focus on the story.”
Indeed, the upcoming trio of sequels will apparently change the tone of the preceeding films, which seems like needlessly messing with a winning formula. “We have a director who is going to bring the darkness out and bring out the character,” said Diesel, comparing “Furious 8” to uh, “A Man Apart,” the other movie he made with F. Gary Gray (did you see that movie? Didn’t think so…)
So, in short, we’re now going to have a “Fast & Furious” expanded universe. And with this news coming the same day as word of a “Memento” remake, maybe Hollywood should take a time out.