After 50-plus years of embargoes and travel restrictions, the Obama administration began taking steps to relax the diplomatic relationship between the United States and Cuba in late 2013. While the more important result of the policy involved things like the opening of new embassies, it also led to new opportunities for the entertainment industry. Conan O’Brien famously filmed an episode of his television show in Havana last year. So did Anthony Bourdain. But other than an independent movie about Hemingway, Hollywood has been a little slower to jump at this opportunity. Until now. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a major studio production has started the paperwork to be the first of its kind to film on the island since the 1960s.
“But who?,” you say. “Who will lead the brave pioneering mission to help thaw this icy diplomatic relationship through the magic of cinema?” Glad you asked…
Yup, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Fast & Furious 8 director F. Gary Gray “recently returned from a scouting trip that included the previously embargoed nation as part of a professional research trip.” And then Universal Studios went ahead and confirmed it.
“Universal Pictures is currently in the process seeking approval from the United States and Cuban governments to explore shooting a portion of the next installment of the Fast & Furious series in Cuba,” said a statement from the studio.
There’s something perfect about this. After half a century of isolating Cuba with strict economic policies, the first major Hollywood movie we’re sending there is the eighth movie in a franchise that just recently featured Vin Diesel flying through the air from skyscraper to skyscraper inside a rare multi-million-dollar sports car that he was stealing from a billionaire so he and The Rock could save the world from Jason Statham. Find me a better argument for capitalism than that.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)