Universal held an exclusive fan event today for the debut of the official Furious 7 trailer, both at Universal Studios, Hollywood, and over live-stream through E! Online. The event drew not only fans, but also most of the franchise’s main cast. In attendance for the interview panel were Vin Diesel (XXX), Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil), Tyrese Gibson (Transformers), Jordana Brewster (Annapolis), Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges (The Hangover), and the latest installment’s villain Jason Statham (The Transporter), with directer James Wan (The Conjuring) present in the audience.
Most of the clips, montages, and interviews shown throughout the hour-long live stream had the cast and audience looking back at the franchise as a whole, and reflecting on what it took to get to Furious 7. When asked about the longevity of the films, Diesel replied “when we first made the movie we didn’t ever think we would make the sequel.” However, after the second two films seemed to take off, they “started to dream about a saga that the audience could follow.” Diesel, along with the rest of the actors agreed that their late friend and cast mate Paul Walker was an integral part in making the franchise the success it is today. Diesel recalls after each premiere, “[Walker] would always say we could make a better one… the best one is still in the can,” to which Rodriguez interjects, “he lived it.”
Another running force to the franchise has been its “multiculturalism,” as each film represents a wide variety of filming locations and backgrounds, to which Diesel claims Universal has called it “the most progressive force in Hollywood;” because at its core, “all you see is family.”
When finally digging into the plot and feel of Furious 7, particularly the new antagonist for the Fast crew, Statham didn’t skip a beat with his fellow cast mates, commenting “It’s all about family. I am out to address some damage that was done to my brother.” Statham’s character Ian Shaw was introduced briefly at the end of Fast & Furious 6. Diesel comments that they “wanted to get a real talent, someone who could bring something to the saga in the form of a villain who has a complex back story and places to go in the future.”
Just before the time came to finally air the trailer’s premiere, Rodriguez was asked whether or not the public’s label of the film as “a revenge thriller” was accurate, to which she immediately replied “[No]. This film became something else… that is something for the audience to judge when they actually see it, but this one’s for Paul [Walker].” After resounding cheers from the audience, everyone watched the trailer together, which was met at its end with standing ovations and high emotions from the cast. Most significantly, the trailer provides enough Paul Walker footage to keep fans waiting until the film’s premiere on April 3, 2015.