Denzel Washington Reportedly Turned Down ‘Fast And Furious 7’

Deadline’s Mike Fleming, Jr. wrote a very interesting and thought-provoking piece yesterday about how Hollywood studios keep going back to the well to recycle franchises and reboot and remake everything under the sun. The catalyst for this essay and call-to-arms for studios to give us new material was the fact that retread-friendly director Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard, Total Recall) has dropped out of Universal’s reboot of The Mummy franchise. Because lord knows we need another Mummy story like we need to be wrapped in bandages and buried beneath a pyramid.

But lost in all of the words about things and stuff was one little nugget of news about the seventh installment in the immensely-popular Fast and Furious franchise – Denzel Washington was approached to be the next next bad guy, but unfortunately turned it down.

The Fast And The Furious was almost entirely out of gas before Universal smartly brought in Chris Morgan and Justin Lin, who tinkered under the hood and much to the surprise of everybody, restored it into Universal’s most valuable franchise outside of Jurassic Park. They smartly added energy by bringing back Vin Diesel and adding Dwayne Johnson and others. The studio is now looking for another big star to join the next film in a small role and then be a big part of the film that follows. Denzel Washington just turned down that opportunity, but they’ll undoubtedly get somebody important by the time The Conjuring helmer James Wan starts shooting the seventh film. (Via Deadline)

The “small role” turned into a “big part” refers, of course, to the franchise’s admittedly brilliant formula that we saw in action in the post-credits scene of Fast & Furious 6, with [SPOILER!!! No, not the car type] this guy showing up as the villain for Fast & Furious 7. So Washington would have, in turn, been the “Ian Shaw” of Fast & Furious 7, but that will now be someone else.

Probably Channing Tatum, because I can’t believe this franchise has gone six films without him.