Hollywood

Original Fast & Furious Director Wants To Helm Final Film

But only if Vin Diesel allows it.

Fast & Furious has become one of the biggest money-making movie franchises in Hollywood, but things were very different when the series started back in 2001. Directed by Rob Cohen, the first film focused on Paul Walker’s character Brian O’Conner working as an undercover cop to stop a gang of thieves masquerading as illegal street racers. It was essentially Point Break, but with street racers instead of surfers. Now those same street racers have turned into superheroes saving the world for the government in recent films.

At the time, nobody could have foreseen the Fast & Furious franchise would still be successful today. Last year saw the release of the eighth film in the franchise, Fate of the Furious, break box-office records. There are still two sequels left in the pipeline, as well as a spin-off starring Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson next year. Originally slated for release in April 2021 before Fast & Furious 9 was delayed until 2020, Fast & Furious 10 will allegedly be the final film in the franchise–and Cohen wants to be sat in the director’s chair. “I always wished Universal would come back to me to direct the last one,” he told ScreenCrush in a recent interview while promoting his latest movie, The Hurricane Heist.

Given how much money the franchise makes, he was skeptical Fast & Furious 10 will be the finale, joking the franchise will only end “if Comcast's Board of Directors ever allows them to end the goose that laid the golden egg.” Book-ending the franchise by hiring the man who directed the first film to helm the final film would be fitting, but it’s unlikely to happen. Why? Because Vin Diesel is the producer and has a lot of power over the franchise. He’s also already hinted that Justin Lin, who directed Fast & Furious 3, 4, 5, and 6, has been hired to direct Fast & Furious 9 and 10, though Universal has yet to officially confirm this.

It’s also debatable if Cohen’s style would suit the current direction of the franchise. “The franchise went from a Los Angeles story built around a family of multicultural brothers and sisters to what I'll call 'pure spectacle,'” he said when asked what he thinks of the franchise now. “The beauty is that the audience has ridden along with it for these 18 years. I'm very proud that the characters I created in 2001 are still in the lexicon. There's still a Dominic Toretto appearing every two years, or a Mia Toretto, or a Letty. It had to evolve, and it evolved in a way that was ultra-worldwide commercial. And the heartbeat of it is: We live in a world with no gravity, cars can do anything."

They can burst out of the nose of airplanes. People can jump across freeways. They can take down helicopters. It's like, 'Okay, anything for the spectacle.' They spend $350 million on these movies, so they've got the money to pull this stuff off. And the audience is eating it up. The last one still did $1.25 billion. For my kids' college fund, I'm very happy that it's had this longevity.”

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