You know there’s a new “Fast & Furious” movie in the making, right? Bringing the grand total of racing flicks in the franchise to seven, or, as I like to look at it, six too many for any film buff with half a brain.
But let’s leave my, how shall I put it delicately, reluctance towards the series aside for a second and look at what’s ahead. A seventh title, like I said, hot on the heels of the sixth and most profitable to date, this year’s “Fast & Furious 6”.
Starring the entire old, adrenaline-filled gang (Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez), plus Dwayne Johnson and directed by Justin Lin, this brought Universal a hefty $786 million in worldwide grosses on a $160 mil budget.
That sounds like a very tough act to follow, yet I’m willing to bet already next year’s movie will conquer the box-office even faster and more furious. Why is that? A. The Rock, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are all set to return, B. Jason Statham will join them in a major villainous role, C. James Wan (“Saw”, The Conjuring”) is on board to direct, and finally D. the cast has just added Tony Jaa.
Jaa’s name probably doesn’t ring many bells for folks on the Western hemisphere, but he should do wonders for the box-office performance of “Fast & Furious 7” in Asia. Aged 37, he’s essentially the Jet Li of Thailand, being an extremely gifted martial arts expert, but also a solid actor, which he’s proven in films like “Ong-bak”, “The Protector” and “Ong bak 2”.
The martial artist will be making his English-language debut in next summer’s racing and fighting extravaganza, although we’re yet to find out what kind of role Jaa will be taking on. Stay tuned.