Kurt Russell is in negotiations with Universal to join Fast & Furious 7.
The role — which is being kept quiet — was initially offered to Denzel Washington, and is expected to carry over to the eighth film in the franchise. Universal pulled a similar move with Jason Statham, who made a cameo in Fast & Furious 6 and was set up as the villain in the upcoming film.
Why Russell is replacing Washington wasn’t explained, but it most likely has to do with the fact that Washington is heading back to Broadway to star in A Raisin in the Sun. Washington will star as Walter Younger, the patriarch of an African-American family in 1950s Chicago. He will be joined by Diahann Carroll, who hasn’t appeared on Broadway since Agnes of God in 1982. Raisin also stars Anika Noni Rose, Stephen Tyrone Williams, and Sophie Okenedo.
It was also rumored that Washington simply turned down the role, but he hasn’t said anything about the offer either way.
So far, no plot details have been revealed for Fast & Furious 7, other than the fact that the film will be returning Los Angeles.
Kurt Russell will be joining Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris, who are all reprising their roles from previous films. He also joins newcomers Tony Jaa and UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Rousey was also recently cast in The Expendables 3, and will film both films back-to-back. The timing overlaps with her training for her upcoming fight against Miesha Tate, but the producers have arranged her schedule so that she can train while she isn’t filming.
“I’m leaving soon, and I’m very fortunate that there’s going to be Victor Ortiz and Randy Couture and other fighter-type people there, and I’m going to be able to have my camp come and do everything, so I’m not going to break training for it at all,” she said.
Kurt Russell is no stranger to action movies. He has starred in Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China, Tombstone, and a number of other films.