Newer cars were used for the crazy car hacking stunt in Fate of the Furious for the sake of realism, ironically.
One of the standout action scenes in The Fate of the Furious takes place in Manhattan, where cyber terrorist Cipher, played by Charlize Theron, hacks the city’s cars and remote controls them to use them as a weapon, causing mass carnage. The scale of the destruction is insane and gleefully over the top, to say the least. One scene featured prominently in promotions shows a cavalcade of cars being remotely driven off a multi-level parking garage, before smashing onto the street below in one of the biggest on-screen pileups ever - it literally rains cars.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, director F. Gary Gray revealed that the destructive stunt was more expensive to produce than you might think. Most movies use older cars destined for the junk yard to save money, but Gray insisted on using newer cars. You can see his logic: using older cars would have been jarring since the movie is set in the present day, but it hiked up the budget significantly.
“My producers kind of looked at me like I was out of my mind even requesting the amount of cars needed . . . they have to be newer vehicles," he explained. "So to destroy them for the sake of getting different angles for different coverage was quite expensive, but ultimately, we do it for the fans.” Many of the cars that get wrecked under Cipher’s control don’t even feature autonomous driving abilities, so you can’t help but wonder how they were hacked. But then if you’re looking for realism, you’re watching the wrong movie. The budget for The Fate of the Furious was reportedly $250 million, but it’s already made over $530 million worldwide in its opening weekend, setting a new record.