Following in the footsteps of Marvel, D.C., and Star Wars, Universal Pictures has announced plans to produce spin-offs and prequels for The Fast and the Furious franchise, the first of which are in the very preliminary stages according to Variety.
We’ve written out story lines for various characters. We’ve been playing with it for a long time. It’s a very rich property and we’re committed to treating it with a lot of class.
With the announcement comes plenty of speculation as none of the series characters have appeared in every film. Some of the series’ most famous characters like Dwayne Johnson’s (Baywatch) Agent Hobbs didn’t appear until the fifth entry. Other characters like Tyrese Gibson’s Roman or Ludacris’ Tej also have plenty of character holes with which to fill. The franchise has experimented with filling in the gaps between films in the form of short films included on some of the series DVD releases. There was a short film included on the 2 Fast 2 Furious DVD explaining how Brian went from L.A. to Miami as well as a film on the Fast & Furious DVD reintroducing the characters from the original film that led into the fourth entries opening chase sequence.
Expanding the Fast franchise also makes sense for Diesel who recently had a box office miss with The Last Witch Hunter. The actor has struggled to find a second franchise vehicle. He’s currently set to return to the xXx franchise with xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. He will also return as the voice of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 but the actor has yet to find much recent success in anything outside of the Fast and Furious films.
While the films are early in the planning stages, Universal is currently focusing on the next film in the mainline series. We’ll be sure to have more on those and the spinoffs as details develop.