The Fast and Furious franchise is one of the biggest franchises of all time. With eight movies under their belt and a projected two more (plus spin-offs) underway, the series is currently the sixth highest-grossing franchise of all time, with $5.1 billion earned. With the next film, they’re bound to top the number five spot, which is currently held by Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings franchise, with $5.9 billion.
Each film gets progressively more exciting, bigger, and with more at stake. The last two films in the franchise have been the highest grossing, with Fate of the Furious making six times the amount of the series’ first film ($1.2 billion compared to $200 million for The Fast and the Furious). Each new film also introduces new stars and brings us back into the fold of the Furious family, which seems to keep getting bigger, too.
Some of the high-octane scenes take an enormous amount of time and energy to film, plan, and work out. There are hundreds of cameraman, editors, effects specialists, and everything in between, all working together to make these movies as big and successful as they can be.
Sometimes, these behind the scenes shots are caught on camera and leaked, which takes a little bit away from the grandiosity of the series but also gives us a closer, more intimate look into the franchise. Sometimes, things are not always as they seem on camera: feuds erupt in real life, friendships develop between mortal enemies onscreen, and we get a closer look at the technicians responsible for making these films.
Here are 24 behind the scenes photos from the Fast and Furious franchise that change everything.
24 The Diesel And Johnson Feud
Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson have quite a tumultuous relationship with one another. They either look like friends or passive-aggressive enemies in this photo, and their feud dates back to 2016, when The Rock broke the news that all was not well in the Furious family. He hashtagged a post “zero tolerance for candy a**es,” in which he was referring to Diesel. By April 2017, all was supposedly well between the two, according to Diesel, who told Entertainment Tonight that the beef was a matter of “different philosophies.” But when you see these two square up in the films, remember the real-life drama behind it!
23 Big Happy Family
Here we see the Furious family as one big, happy family, posing for a picture outside of the set. Little did the crew know at this time that the bookends of this picture (Jason Statham, on the left, and Dwayne Johnson, on the right) would soon dive into their own spin-off F&F film, which rubbed a few co-stars the wrong way, namely Tyrese Gibson. He felt Johnson was going off to make the franchise all about him and that he was delaying Fast & Furious 9 from release because of the Hobbs & Shaw spin-off. So, in reality, the big happy family isn’t as happy as they may seem.
22 Green Screen Takes Away From The Excitement
The Fast and Furious producers recently released green screen captures from the latest film in the franchise, in an effort to be transparent about what goes into making those high-octane action scenes seem so real. What it also does is it takes away from the suspended disbelief, so in that sense, the green screens might take away from the films. For instance, here we see The Rock, on a wire line, “jumping” toward a turret weapon. What’s he going to do to it…punch it? To destroy it? Yep, that’s exactly what he’s going to do.
21 Eating Lunch With The Camera Crew
Half of the reason the Fast and Furious films are so popular is because of the excellent camera work done by the crew. So it’s nice to see the stars hanging out, eating lunch, and mingling with the behind-the-scenes guys here. Everyone’s equal at lunchtime: they all eat out of styrofoam containers together, swap pictures and stories, and perhaps plan for the next upcoming scenes after their lunch break. On the left, we also see Sung Kang, who plays Han, which leads me to believe this took place on the set of one of the earlier films.
20 Justin Lin’s Farewell From The Franchise
Justin Lin is a big part of what made the Fast and Furious franchise great, as he directed four of the films in sequence (3-6), but he’s often forgotten and not given the credit he deserves. He is a great action film director, oftentimes getting in the middle of the action to show his stars how he wants a scene to play out. Here we see a shot with the late Paul Walker laughing beside him. In a way, this can be seen as a farewell photo for both the actor and the director. Luckily, it looks like Lin might come back to direct Fast 9.
19 Tony Jaa Joins The “Happy Family”
It was a rocky series of events for Tony Jaa to join the Furious family. The Thai expert martial artist, stuntman, and actor is famous for the gravity-defying Ong Bak films, and he also appeared in Furious 7 (arguably the best film of the series). Unfortunately, when Jaa went to Hollywood, he was threatened with a lawsuit over a contract dispute seeking $49 million, and the release of Furious 7 was halted in Thailand following that dispute. Eventually, the lawsuit was dropped and Furious 7 was released in Southeast Asia.
18 The Ripsaw Tank Is Real And Cooler Than You Thought
One of the most exciting new vehicles in Fast and Furious 8 that the stars got to play around with was the Ripsaw tank—supposedly the fastest land tank ever assembled. Ludacris, in particular, was incredibly hyped about the tank. As it turns out, all of the insane action scenes involving the Ripsaw were real, and the tank itself is actually a real machine! It was supplied by Howe and Howe, who also supplies the military. This machine was used in a plethora of ways, and it proved to be nigh indestructible by the cast and crew.
17 Tyrese Gibson Was A Singer First
Many people might not know this, because they only know Tyrese Gibson from the Fast and Furious franchise, but the actor was actually a singer first. Here, it almost looks like he’s partaking in some karaoke, though this also could be a simple talk show or interview. He’s also part of one of the other biggest franchises of all time, Transformers, so he’s done well for himself. But before his transition into acting, he released real albums, which he still does today (he’s on number seven).
16 Vin Diesel Sticks Up For Women
There has been some serious backlash concerning the Fast and Furious franchise’s treatment of women, namely that they aren’t treated well. The most popular woman in the franchise, Michelle Rodriguez, has even threatened to quit if F&F doesn’t step up their game. Many people took that idea to mean Rodrigeuz was blaming the main man of the franchise, Vin Diesel, but they’re besties and are often seen around town in each other’s arms and such. Rodrigeuz made an online video making it clear that Vin Diesel was one of the good guys who does stick up for women, and he wants the same thing as her.
15 Justin Lin And Jordana Brewster Are Returning For Fast 9
As mentioned earlier, Justin Lin is returning to direct Fast 9, after taking time off from films seven and eight. Vin Diesel made it explicitly clear that he wanted Justin Lin back for Fast 9 (and possibly the last projected film in the franchise, the 10th installment). Lin has had great success with the series, so it makes sense that Diesel would want him back. Another returning star is Jordana Brewster, which is even more surprising to many. Here we see a picture of all three of them, smiling and getting ready to kick butt and rake in millions (and perhaps billions) of dollars.
14 All Is Not Well With The Rock And Tyrese Gibson
The feud between The Rock and Vin Diesel is not the only one transpiring. Actor Tyrese Gibson, though pictured here smiling with Dwayne Johnson, has gone to great lengths to rag on The Rock for “betraying” the Fast family and making the film franchise all about him. In a series of unanswered social media comments, Gibson went on a crazed rant, calling out The Rock for anything and everything that ever went wrong with the series. The fact is, The Rock pushed new life into the series, and the films doubled in profit with his appearance. And what has Gibson brought to the stage, exactly?
13 Dwayne Johnson And Gal Gadot
These two extremely good-looking actors are friends in real life, and close associates when it comes to films. Despite losing Gal Gadot in the sixth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, she shot to even higher tiers of stardom with her role as Wonder Woman. And a surprising tidbit is that Dwayne Johnson will again star with Gal Gadot in a film—the first film since her starring role in Wonder Woman—in the upcoming Netflix film, Red Notice.
12 This Corvette Will End Up At The Bottom Of A Cliff
Sometimes, it’s a shame the lengths that the producers will go to to make their movies great and realistic. Such as when you have to sacrifice a beautiful, vintage Corvette down a steep cliff, all in order to make the film a hit. Pictured here is the launching ramp that will send this Corvette to its inevitable doom, and it’s a good showcase of what the preparation looks like for some of these stunts. With a car this classic, even if it is a replica, you really only have one shot to get the picture right!
11 Former Driver The Stig Talks About His Epic FF6 Chase Scenes
When you see pictures like this, you see that the filming of Fast and Furious movies are not as dangerous as they seem. They are exciting, though! Hollywood.com got hold of Ben Collins, the UK hit Top Gear’s former driver, the Stig, who pulled back the curtain on Fast and Furious 6 in order to show people how he got away with his epic chase scenes in the film. The interview was streamed online with the hashtag #HollywoodBurningQuestions, and it was a big hit with fans, even if it did end up taking away from the allure a little bit.
10 Michelle Rodriguez’s Stunt Double Having A Laugh With Ronda Rousey
One of the more surprising additions to Furious 7, besides Tony Jaa, was the addition of then-UFC champion Ronda Rousey into the film. She has a particularly awesome scene with Michelle Rodriguez, where the actress and real-life fighter toe off and beat each other up. It’s a heavy scene, but this picture features Rodriguez, her stunt double Debbie Evans, and Ronda Rousey sharing a laugh behind the scenes before they tee off to duke it out. Pictures like this show what good friends they all are, even if they seem like mortal enemies onscreen.
9 Perhaps Tyrese Gibson And Dwayne Johnson Made Up
The petty feud between Tyrese Gibson and Dwayne Johnson died down after The Rock didn’t bother to give it any kind of a response on social media (as adults should do). It was pared down to a “misunderstanding,” as usual, though Gibson said he’d never work with Johnson again. But here they are, bumping fists, working with each other. And if the look on Gibson’s face is anything to go by, it doesn’t really look like they’re all that “made up,” so to speak.
8 Behind The Scenes Setting The Scene
Pictures like this are awesome. This is an inside shot of what it looks like to prepare a scene for a huge film like one of the Fast and Franchise movies. Here, we see lifts and cranes and cameras and tents all set up along a street, which we’re expecting fast cars will be screaming down in no time at all. A lot of preparation goes into making each scene as awesome as possible in this franchise, and these unsung and unnamed heroes truly deserve more credit than they get.
7 Dwayne Johnson The Soccer Coach
One of the more touching moments during the filming of Fast and Furious 8 was when Dwayne Johnson got to be the coach to a group of awesome little girls who appeared in the film. But behind the scenes, he was their coach and mentor just as much as he was in the film. He even went and did a haka dance with his troop of girls, a ceremonial dance from the Maori culture that is used to scare opponents into defeat. Given Johnson’s rapport, we’re guessing it had its desired effect.
6 Lamborghini Stunt Car Scene In FF8
Here is another preparatory picture that shows the dedication and work that goes into each action scene of each film. This particular shot shows a beautiful, lime green Lamborghini moments before it is to be launched out of a warehouse window and dropped hundreds of feet to the ground. There are a lot of CGI moments in the Fast and Furious films but this time, they opted for authenticity and decided against the CGI, and the scene was probably better for it.
5 Tunnel Preparation For FF3
This is a great aerial photo that really shows the scope of the preparation that goes into each Fast and Furious action scene. This particular photo was taken in a tunnel while filming the third film, back when they were already blockbuster hits and only getting bigger. There’s a lot going on in this long-exposure picture, and it appears to be maybe a few hour’s worth of filming (due to the shadows), but one constant is the amount of similar dummy cars used in each shot.
4 Action Scenes Get Pretty Real Looking In FF5
It isn’t just in the fifth Fast and Furious movie that the action scenes got pretty real looking. All of the films have their moments where it’s impossible to suspend disbelief, but there are other times when the action seems completely realistic. This is one of those moments, as we see a real crushed car and a bad guy perched behind it, while Vin Diesel gloriously walks down the dusty streets. All of this is filmed by multiple cameras, at multiple angles, in order to get the best scene possible.
3 Vin Diesel And Ronda Rousey Are Friends
Another surprising friendship in the Fast and Furious franchise is star Vin Diesel and one-time star Ronda Rousey. What’s even more surprising is what they bonded over and how they became friends. Vin Diesel is a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons, even appearing one time on a show to play the game. He’s also a fan of WarCraft, which it turns out, Ronda Rousey is, too! They bonded over the game, and then further became friends when Diesel asked Ronda to teach his young daughter judo, which Ronda agreed to. Wouldn’t want to mess with that girl!
2 More FF6 Behind The Scenes Green Screens With Dwayne Johnson
Here we see a calm and collected Dwayne Johnson, still dressed up in his gear to perform the green screen stunts. He looks to be explaining what’s going on behind him, which is clearly an action shot (since they’re using a green screen). We have to say that these released photos do take away from the mystery a bit of how the F&F team got some of the epic shots for their films, but it’s still a cool addition for any fan to see, especially if you want to get into that field some day.
1 Parachute-Car Scene From FF7
The seventh installment of the Fast and Furious films had some breathtaking action scenes, and it’s been argued to be the best of the series. One of the more intense scenes involved a group of cars ejecting from the back of an airplane, and then parachuting to safety on the ground below. It leaves viewers wondering, “How did they do that?” That is, if they're not shaking their heads a little at the unreality of it all. Here we see a behind-the-scenes shot of one of the cars launching from the plane with a parachute attached, as it flies to the ground below. We sincerely doubt anyone’s in that car.
Sources: Vanity Fair, The Movie Blog, Hollywood, and Auto Freaks.