The Fast And Furious 8 release date is being set for April 14, 2017, with actor Vin Diesel revealing the series will receive a name change. From now on, Fast 8 will be how the movie will be known, and it appears the filming for the Fast 8 location will be in New York City in addition to providing action from Cuba.
Not much else is known about the Fast 8 plot, although some involved in the filming process have described how Paul Walker’s death changed their plans for all future movies, including Fast And Furious 9. Paul’s brother Cody Walker was able to help finish the previous film as an uncredited cast member, but in recent times NBC Universal revealed that Paul’s character Brian O’Conner will return in “some form or another,” although the exact form remains a surprise.
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Back in October, Vin Diesel hinted that he already knew the working title Fast And Furious 8 would be renamed to just Fast 8, although at the time it was not official.
“A lot of people are thinking ‘F8,’ I just get lazy and say Fast 8. I don’t know if the official title’s come out yet. It’s never the official title. You have to understand. When you talk about titles and you talk about The Fast and the Furious the first movie all through production the back of my chair said ‘Red Line.’ This is like, this is par for the course for the ‘Fast‘ franchise. We never know what the title is officially.”
Dwayne Johnson also revealed that New York City was a possibility. The new movie poster posted online by Vin Diesel does seem to indicate that NYC will play a major part for the series, but in the past fans have noted how the heavily congested streets would be an unlikely host to street racing (although a New Yorker’s road rage provides the missing furious part). It turns out the plot will be set in multiple locations, including Atlanta, Georgia and Cuba.
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“Universal Pictures is currently in the process of seeking approval from the United States and Cuban governments to explore shooting a portion of the next installment of the ‘Fast & Furious’ series in Cuba,” a spokeswoman for the studio said, according to Variety.
Previous movies in the franchise have featured exotic locales, but John Kavulich, senior policy adviser to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, says Fast 8 will go to “a land that many know about, but few have seen. These productions are hoping to capitalize on the increased interest in Cuba.”
Although the new filming location is certainly interesting, the question burning in many a fan’s mind is how Paul Walker’s death will affect Fast 8’s plot. Originally, Furious 7 was supposed to be part of a new trilogy, but after Walker died in his tragic car accident director James Wan confirmed with Collider that the original ending was changed drastically.
“The original ending of Furious 7 was setting up, you know, the bigger world of where the Fast and Furious franchise could go into. And that’s obviously very smart of them to think so. But when the tragedy happened, all of that became irrelevant. So it did not matter anymore, all of that stuff. And to the studio’s credit, they did not push for that. They realized how important it was to make a movie that finishes and that just outright is a tribute to Paul Walker. So I give them a lot of credit for being bigger than that and going along with this ending that is the right ending to go with.”
In the past, Vin Diesel also revealed to MTV News that he sees filming Fast 8 almost as a tribute to Walker’s memory.
“Paul Walker used to say that eight was guaranteed. And in some ways, when your brother guarantees something, you sometimes feel like you have to make sure it comes to pass,” he said. “So if fate has it, F8…if fate has it, then you’ll get this when you hear about it. Seven was for Paul, eight is from Paul.”
But will Paul Walker make a return via CGI as he did with the final moments of Furious 7? In a recent report by MSN, NBC Universal Vice-Chairman Ron Meyer answered that question, although the description of their plans just generates more questions.
“Paul won’t be in it, but he’ll be represented in some form or another, but whether his image is in it, I can’t tell you yet, but he won’t be in the film as a performer, as an actor, the way we did it last time,” explained Meyer.
It is feasible to bring Walker’s character Brian O’Conner back using CGI, but it is also possible Paul’s younger brother, Cody Walker, may join the Fast 8 cast in order to continue the story. Back in April of 2015, Cody’s former manager, Matt Luber, confirmed that Cody had an interest in starting an acting career.
“(His acting career) is in its beginning stages. He’s open to all types of roles,” Luber said. “I’m not sure if they are going to make an eighth movie, but if they did, I’m sure he would entertain a conversation (about a role).”
If Cody has joined the Fast 8 cast, then nothing official has been announced. Meyer did confirm O’Conner’s return will be limited to flashback scenes, so it seems likely we won’t know the specifics until the Fast 8 release date comes in 2017.
[Image via NBC Universal]