“The Fast and the Furious” is the rare franchise that was down and out but bounced back hard. The series was on the way out with the third installment, “Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” which didn’t even gross $65 million in its entire domestic run. But the series caught fire again with 2009’s “Fast and Furious,” when director Justin Lin and writer Chris Morgan took over (they worked on ‘Drift’ too, but it took a moment to reheat). Grosses kept climbing and the series hit a major career high with “Fast & Furious 6” which earned $788 million worldwide. Strangely enough, the chronology of the films is actually all over the map. The upcoming “Fast & Furious 7” picks up after the events of ‘Tokyo Drift.’
Once again starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, and Lucas Black, this time Ian Shaw (Jason Statham) seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his crew for the death of his brother (Luke Evans), who died in “Fast & Furious 6,” but the events of which actually occurred before “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.” Got that? Nope, but does it even matter in these movies that have taken car culture and turned them into big guilty pleasure action movies?
Also starring Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Kurt Russell, Elsa Pataky, Djimon Hounsou, and more, this installment of the series is directed by horror filmmaker James Wan, new to the franchise as Lin decided to finally play his trade elsewhere.
Of course, no matter how fast, furious, and enjoyable this seventh edition may be, a shadow looms over it. Part seven marks the final film appearance of Paul Walker, who died on November 30, 2013, while the film was still in production (and the producers used his brothers, CGI, and digital effects trickery to finish the movie).
Production was halted for several months while the script was rewritten (“It will allow the character of Brian O’Conner to live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role” a press release stated months ago), and Diesel tweeted photos during the remainder of the shoot. Now, finally, the first trailer is here. Due in theaters April 3, 2015, the only wide release that weekend so far, “Fast & Furious 7” will presumably rule the roost in a big way. Watch the new trailer below and let us know what you think.