I’m a mere three hours away from seeing Fast Five, the latest entry in a franchise I’ve loved since the first one emerged when I was 13 years old (I don’t like to do that shit too often, but I have to make you all feel old every once in a while). The great thing is that as I’ve grown up, my enjoyment of the franchise hasn’t had to morph into some kind of twisted, ironic appreciation- the movies have always been fueled by their own lack of pretension. They’re not self-aware enough to wink at the camera, but they’re also not enough of a joke to need to- there’s always been the right balance of action and cheese.
That’s not to say that the franchise isn’t without its peaks and valleys, but from all accounts Fast Five is among the best of the films (if not the best). With the box office potential of the film quickly swelling like a balloon from the word-of-mouth, the sixth film has already been put into development. Deadline recently scored an interview with Universal exec Adam Fogulson, who explains that the franchise will be evolving into something a bit different in future franchises, as the focus on cars recedes for thrilling heist action to take center stage.
“We’ve heard so many people say, ‘I’ve never seen one, and I’ve never wanted to see one,’ about the Fastfranchise… So if these movies were still about street racing, there was probably a ceiling on how many people would buy tickets. We wanted to see if we could raise it out of about racing and make car driving ability just a part of the movie, like those great chases in The French Connection, The Bourne Identity, The Italian Job.“
Which means, if you haven’t caught on yet, that Fast Five is a transitional film and that the presence of a new powerhouse antagonist –the Rock as a fed– that could carry through more stories is no accident. Expect to see more of the character (UnlessHeDoesn’tSurviveOMGSpoilerAlert?!?) in future installments, as they transform the franchise into something more universally appealing and heist-focused. Fortunately, the muscle and the metal will still probably remain the core of the franchise…
“Our strategy behind one of the biggest bets we’ve ever made is that the business has gone so far towards CG action every weekend, that we really believe creating a movie with real action and real cars will be amazing stuff to people excited by seeing something real.”
Which yes, exactly, PRECISELY, Adam Fogulson. Please hear your own words and remember them- real action, real cars, real stunts… that’s how you stand out and excite these days. Believe it.
Now, before we get too focused on aggrandizing a franchise that, while fun and filled with well-engineered action, is no pinnacle of screenwriting, lets let The Onion keeps us on point as usual. This hilarious segment is an interview with Fast Five screenwriter Chris Morgan…
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