It’s hard to believe the Fast and Furious franchise began relatively small. The 2001 original, simply called The Fast and the Furious, was a comparatively stripped-down affair. There were races. There was some thieving. The idea that the franchise would last over two decades — much less that it would go to space — seemed impossible. But here we are, with an 11th installment (counting the spin-off Hobbs & Shaw) en route next summer.
But what do we know about Fast X, the 10th in the main segment of the series? Here are some major pointers to keep in mind.
Fast X will be released on May 19, 2023
In a non-pandemic timeline, the film would have been both made and released a lot sooner. In fact, we would have seen on April 21, 2021. That obviously didn’t happen, and instead F9, its also delayed predecessor, hit theaters a few months after that, on June 25. But that’s cool because now it gets a plum Summer ’23 spot one week before Memorial Day weekend.
Some newbies are joining the Family
Jason Momoa is on tap to play the baddie, which the Aquaman actor describes as a “sadistic” and “very flamboyant bad boy.” Also on tap are Daniela Melchior (The Suicide Squads’ Ratcatcher 2, Reacher’s Alan Ritchson, and — in an as-yet-unspecified role — Oscar-winning thespian Brie Larson. And there’s another Academy Award-winner joining as well: Rita Moreno, who will hopefully get some scenes with the almost-as-legendary Dame Helen Mirren, who plays the mother of Shaw brothers Deckard (Jason Statham) and Owen (Luke Evans). Speaking of…
Jason Statham is returning but Dwayne Johnson isn’t
How bad is the alleged riff between Johnson and Vin Diesel? Bad enough that when Diesel tried to patch things up publicly, Johnson snubbed him. But Statham’s apparently cool with Diesel, and after sitting out F9 so he and Johnson could galavant about in Hobbs & Shaw, Deckard is back. The same goes with [deep breath] Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris and Nathalie Emmanuel and Sung Kang and Theron and Jordana Brewster and John Cena and Jason Statham and Helen Mirren and Michael Rooker and Cardi B.
Fast X will be the first of a two-part farewell to at least the main wing of the franchise
Rather than just end things, the producers of Fast X decided to break it in two, much like Twilight series or the final two Harry Potters. Indeed, Diesel has explained there’s too much stuff to simply bid it adieu in one movie. (For one thing, there’s its habit of introducing new “family” members in each movie, including sometimes the villains.) As Diesel once explained (via GamesRadar+): “As you know, we get to travel to all these wonderful places. And they’re part of the reason why Fast [and Furious] 10 has to be broken into two different movies — it’s because there’s so much ground to cover. And there’s so many places in so many locations in the world that we have to visit.”
Fast X has been filming since April of 2022, and it got off to a rocky start
How big is Fast X? As of this writing, it’s about half a year into principal photography. There’s a lot of locations, lots of stunts. But when it began, there was one major hiccup: Director Justin Lin — who joined the franchise with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and stayed through Fast & Furious 6 — jumped ship, for reasons that have still not been made public. He was quickly replaced by Louis Leterrier, of The Incredible Hulk, Now You See Me, and the first two Transporter films, which starred Statham.
What about spinoffs?
Even after the main wing of the Fast and Furious franchise comes to a close, that won’t mean the end of the series. There’s another Hobbs & Shaw entry in the works, though it’s unclear when it will actually be made. There’s a female-led spinoff in the works, though it’s not been revealed which of the many female characters will nab the spotlight. That has nothing to do with one film being bandied about: one centered on Charlize Theron’s baddie Cipher, first seen in The Fate of the Furious. As Diesel put it, “I will say that there is nothing that is off the table.”
Oh, and the franchise might go to Africa
In the last couple entries, two characters have formed a strong bond: Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce and Ludacris’ Tej Parker. They even went to space together. They have other plans as well. “I think me and Luda’s always had this idea, think it’s time for us to head to Africa,” Gibson said back in June of 2021. “South Africa needs some love, some real estate and be in on this franchise. It could be really amazing to figure out something that we can do in South Africa. Cape Town, just somewhere that’s just got one of those beautiful skylines with ocean. Just the Fast and Furious package.”
And so, one could say the sky’s the limit for the Fast and Furious movies. But it’s clear the sky is no limit either.