Vin Diesel Has Big Plans For ‘Fast & Furious’ Franchise

Vin Diesel has his eye on expanding the Fast & Furious franchise into universe of sequels and spin-offs, signaling a new era for both Mr. Diesel and the Fast & Furious family. If Paul Walker’s tragic death at one time seemed to foreshadow the end of an era for the Vin Diesel-led series of films, these new projects, still in the preliminary planning stages, would indicate just the opposite -that the Fast & Furious franchise is due for a rebirth.

Vin Diesel Involves Himself In The Fast & Furious Creative Process

Vin Diesel, Fast & Furious, Furious 7
Vin Diesel on the set of 'Furious 7.' Image courtesy of Universal Pictures.

The idea to expand the Fast & Furious franchise into a full blown universe that would rival that of Marvel and even Star Wars is not a new idea, says Diesel, as he reveals that the idea to create an entire conglomerate of spin-offs and sequels is not something new.

“We’ve written out story lines for various characters,” Diesel told Variety. “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.”

While the Fast & Furious franchise might not seem like the likeliest franchise to top a list of would-be universe expansions, the time has never been more right for the Diesel-driven series to make a play for expansion. Marvel and DC Comics have been leading the way for popular films to expand in new ways, particularly with the advent of online streaming.

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Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel
Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel in 'Furious 7.' Image courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Truthfully, that seems to be the primary question to be posed to those that would deliver an ever-expanding universe of gun-running, drug cartel-fueled car chases, but Vin Diesel has an answer for that too. Vin says there’s just no limit to the story ideas and characters that can be introduced via new Fast & Furious sequels and spin-offs.

While Diesel didn’t reveal specifics, his Fast & Furious co-star, Dwayne Johnson, said in past interviews that he would like to participate in expanding his character, Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs, in future Fast & Furious films.

“We’re certainly in conversations about how we can expand the franchise now,” said Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, according to Entertainment Weekly. “It’s an ensemble cast and there’s room to bring characters in and out.”

If plans to expand the Fast & Furious franchise do move forward, fans can expect something similar to the plans for Avengers and Star Wars with origins, prequels,and individual character spin-offs.

While this expanded universe may be the ultimate goal for both Universal Pictures and for Vin Diesel, the primary focus at the moment is to bring in the planned trilogy. As a part of this three-part Fast & Furious story, Vin Diesel reveals that a new director has been brought in to bring out the darkness in Vin’s own character.

As Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, points out, the ever-expanding stunts and car chases won’t be enough to keep audiences coming back for more. Shell seems to say what many may be thinking, and that is that the Fast & Furious franchise should have been focusing on story and characterization long ago.

If Fast & Furious is to survive and thrive as a new universe, Vin Diesel’s world of car crashes will have to add something new: the human factor. For that reason, F. Gary Gray, the director of Straight Outta Compton, was brought in to change things up.

Meanwhile, Diesel says he envisions three more Fast & Furious films featuring his own character, but the powers that be at Universal suspect that number is more of a guideline than a rule.

“Vin has a vision in his mind for three more, so let’s get three more done and then see where we are from there,” said Shell. “Everything has an end, so I don’t think our expectation is we’re going to have a hundred of them…To me ‘Fast and Furious’ has become no different than a beloved series that comes on every year. “

[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]