Here are some interesting facts about the “Fast and Furious” franchise:

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By Black Widow

The “Fast and Furious” franchise first hit the scene in 2001 as a humble film centered around underground street racing. However, with a total of eight mainline movies and even a spinoff, it has transformed into one of the most financially successful franchises in Hollywood, renowned for its jaw-dropping stunts. As we gear up for the release of “Hobbs & Shaw,” let’s rev our engines and dive into some thrilling and fascinating facts about Fast and Furious series.

Fast and Furious

“The Fast and the Furious” (2001) – A magazine article ignites the spark

In 1998, director Rob Cohen stumbled upon a captivating article titled “Racer X” in Vibe Magazine, penned by Ken Li. The piece delved into the gritty world of New York’s underground street racing scene, leaving a lasting impression on Cohen. Driven by curiosity, he embarked on a quest to witness a race in Los Angeles firsthand. The experience proved transformative, fueling his determination to bring this adrenaline-fueled tale to the silver screen. Cohen’s persuasive efforts led to Universal acquiring the rights to Li’s article, setting the stage for the birth of “The Fast and the Furious.”

Fast and Furious series.

“Redline” to “The Fast and the Furious” – A title twist in the making

During the majority of its filming, the iconic movie we now know as “The Fast and the Furious” bore a different name: “Redline.” Director Rob Cohen revealed this intriguing fact in the DVD commentary, shedding light on the behind-the-scenes decision-making process. However, as the film neared completion, the team encountered a hurdle—the rights to the title “Redline” were already claimed by director Roger Corman for his 1955 movie. Determined to secure a fitting title, negotiations ensued, resulting in a unique agreement between Universal and Corman. Universal offered Corman rights to select stock footage in exchange for the coveted title, ultimately paving the way for “The Fast and the Furious” to claim its place in cinematic history.

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The Race Wars: Where Real Car Enthusiasts Took the Spotlight

In his quest for authenticity, director Rob Cohen ventured into the vibrant world of Los Angeles street racing. Immersed in the underground scene, he discovered a treasure trove of talent—real-life racers with their remarkable cars. Embracing the opportunity to bring genuine excitement to the silver screen, Cohen invited these passionate car enthusiasts to join the production as extras. Over 1,500 individuals, each fueled by their love for automobiles, became an integral part of the exhilarating “Race Wars” scene. Their presence injected an electrifying energy, lending an unparalleled sense of realism and passion to the film.

Fast and Furious series.

A Nod to “Point Break”: Shared Location and Inspirations

“The Fast and the Furious” pays homage to the captivating essence of “Point Break,” a film starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Just as an FBI agent delves into the world of surfer bank robbers, “The Fast and the Furious” explores a similar theme of undercover infiltration. Drawing a parallel between the two movies, a familiar location unites them. Neptune’s Net, a renowned eatery nestled in the picturesque landscape of Malibu, serves as a setting shared by both films. Notably, it doubles as the workplace of Tyler, portrayed by Lori Petty, in “Point Break.” This connection serves as a delightful homage, further enriching the tapestry of the racing franchise’s legacy.

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Unexpectedly, Driving Skills Varied Among the Cast

While “The Fast and the Furious” thrived on its exhilarating driving stunts, an intriguing fact emerged behind the scenes. Surprisingly, two cast members, Michelle Rodriguez (Letty) and Jordana Brewster (Mia), did not possess driver’s licenses during filming. Faced with potential insurance concerns, Brewster, fearing her role could be jeopardized, diligently pursued obtaining her license. On the other hand, Rodriguez, who managed to secure her license, encountered a different kind of challenge. Shortly after acquiring the legal document, she found herself facing speeding tickets. This intriguing mix of experiences showcased the diversity of driving abilities within the cast, adding an unexpected layer of intrigue to the production of the film.

Fast and Furious series.

The Intense Train-Jumping Scene Crafted in Two Shots

The heart-pounding train-jumping sequence that concludes the film provided an adrenaline-fueled spectacle for viewers. However, the truth behind the death-defying moment is a testament to the magic of filmmaking. To achieve the desired effect, the scene was meticulously crafted using two separate shots. While the cars raced alongside the tracks, evading the speeding train, the train itself was nowhere near the vehicles. In fact, the portion featuring the cars and the section involving the train were filmed independently and then seamlessly merged during post-production. This intricate process brought together the thrilling elements, captivating audiences with a breathtaking sequence that appeared perilous and awe-inspiring on the silver screen.

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“The Fast and the Furious” Transitions to “2 Fast 2 Furious” Through a Short Film

The saga of “2 Fast 2 Furious” extends beyond the main feature, thanks to a significant addition found in the movie’s DVD release. A compelling short film serves as a crucial link between the conclusion of the first film and the events of its exhilarating sequel. As the first movie concludes with undercover cop Brian allowing the escape of the skilled thief Dom, a new chapter unfolds. The short film delves into Brian’s life after this pivotal moment, thrusting him into a high-stakes journey across the country.

Racing against time and the law, Brian embarks on a thrilling race against adversaries while venturing to Miami. This captivating short film acts as a vital bridge, seamlessly connecting the narrative threads and setting the stage for the adrenaline-fueled escapades of “2 Fast 2 Furious.”

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Despite being offered a staggering $25 million for the sequel

Actor Vin Diesel decided to decline the opportunity. In a 2015 interview with Variety, Diesel expressed his dissatisfaction with the script, ultimately leading to his departure from the project. Director Rob Cohen also left, and the reins were passed to Director John Singleton. As a result, the sequel shifted its focus towards Brian, portrayed by Paul Walker, and his childhood friend Roman Pierce, played by Tyrese Gibson.

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Rapper Ja Rule had the opportunity to become a prominent figure in the “Fast and Furious” franchise.

Initially set to reprise his role as racer Edwin from the first film, Ja Rule was poised to take on a starring role after Vin Diesel’s departure. However, he declined the offer when he was offered $500,000 for the role. Director John Singleton then approached rapper Ludacris, who eagerly embraced the opportunity. The character of Edwin was subsequently transformed into Tej, played by Ludacris, solidifying his position as a key figure in the franchise.

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The film series “Fast and Furious” underwent a retcon to position “Tokyo Drift” as the sixth movie in the timeline.

Originally released out of chronological order, the introduction and subsequent demise of the character Han in “Tokyo Drift” were later followed by his reappearance in “Fast 5.” Consequently, the fourth movie, “Fast & Furious,” “Fast 5,” and “Fast & Furious 6” precede “Tokyo Drift” in the revised continuity. A post-credits scene in “Fast & Furious 6” reframes a scene from “Tokyo Drift,” setting the stage for the events in “Furious 7.”