The Fast and Furious film franchise is one of the most popular and beloved movie franchises of all time, with eight movies, two short films and a spin-off on the way, the series has taken the globe by storm. Without a doubt, the Fast and Furious franchise is the most successful set of films based on cars ever made, helping to create iconic characters with some of the greatest actors and actresses working on the movies.
The franchise is the biggest in Universal's history, with the movies being seen by people all around the world, leading to mass production of merchandise and even several theme park rides due to its popularity. The combined gross profit of the series is estimated to be over $5 billion, an incredible statistic, with the series being the eighth-highest grossing film series in the history of cinema.
The films blend comedy, high-paced racing, and incredible action scenes alongside a heartwarming story with brilliant characters that the fans have become invested deeply into. And because the fan base is so passionate, every little moment is looked at under a magnifying glass. Whilst the fans of the series tend to be diehard and dedicated, looking carefully at every detail, within this article we will be unveiling 25 wild revelations that even the most committed fans might not realize.
25 Fast & Furious 6 Was Originally Going To Be Two Movies
Another fact many fans of the Fast and Furious franchise may not know is that the incredibly successful Fast & Furious 6 was originally set to be split into two movies, rather than the one blockbuster that ended up being created. The reason for this is that there was so much story planned for the sixth installment of the franchise that the producers wanted to split the movie in order to give everything enough time to work.
Of course, that didn't end up happening and the final cut was brought down into the one film that was released—and it worked out just fine. Still, the franchise nearly followed in the footsteps of Harry Potter and Hunger Games, two other franchises that did split movies up.
24 The Bank Vault Had A Car Inside
One of the most popular and memorable scenes in the entire franchise is the incredible climax to Fast Five, when the heist comes to its end as Dom and Brian end up stealing an entire bank vault, dragging it through the city in a high-speed car chase. Whilst the entire scene is, of course, very unrealistic, the producers went out of their way to ensure that it looked as realistic as possible, refusing to use CGI and actually creating the stunt in real life.
To do this, the filmmakers used a real vault but, of course, it wasn't really being pulled by other cars. Instead, there was a mock-up fit around a truck, which gave the illusion that the cars were pulling it although, instead, it was being driven from within.
23 Dwayne Johnson Asked To Be Involved
Nowadays, Dwayne Johnson is known as one of, if not the, biggest male actor in all of Hollywood, at least in terms of major action blockbusters. The former WWE superstar has taken the film world by storm and seems to be going from hit to hit. However, many people forget that when he first started acting, things weren't perfect for the former WWE Champion.
Movies like Tooth Fairy had made many people questioning whether acting was actually for him but it was Fast Five that really helped establish his name. People quickly took him seriously in the role, which almost seemed perfect for him and clearly, he thought so too, as Johnson reportedly reached out to Universal in order to ask for a role in the franchise.
22 Ja Rule Was Almost A Star
Ja Rule recently came back into the limelight through the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix but he could have been an even bigger name had things gone according to plan because he was originally set to be in the regular cast for the Fast and Furious movies. Ja Rule did appear in the first movie in the franchise.
He was originally set to have a much bigger role in the entire franchise and was set to reprise his role after Vin Diesel decided not to be in the sequel. He was even offered an impressive $500,000 to appear but in the end, the talks broke down and Ludacris was brought in and he went on to become a franchise mainstay.
21 It Was Originally Titled 'Redline'
It seems strange to imagine the Fast and Furious franchise being named anything other than exactly that but the original plans would have seen the franchise named something totally different. The original title was Redline for the majority of the filming of the first movie, but eventually, the producers decided to go with the name fans know and love to this day.
But even that came with its own difficulties. The rights to that name belonged to Roger Corman, who was the director of the 1955 movie which had the same name, and Universal had to give up some stock footage to Corman in order to make the deal happen.
20 Over 300 Cars Used In Fate Of The Furious
When you think of Fast and Furious, the first thing that comes to mind is cars. They are the central part of every single movie and whilst it is the different characters and stories that get you emotionally hooked, it is the amazing car sequences that keep fans coming back to the franchise.
It should come as no surprise to learn that throughout the history of the franchise, there have been lots of cars used, but it was in Fate Of The Furious that the producers took it to the next level. In that movie alone, there were over 300 different cars used, from those heavily featured and driven by the likes of Vin Diesel to just the cars in the background, it is an insane number of vehicles all specifically built for this movie.
19 Not Everyone In The Cast Could Drive
You would think that a requirement for the actors and actresses who have been part of the Fast and Furious franchise would be to be able to drive, considering that the entire group of films are based around driving at high speeds. However, that hasn't always been the case, with several people who have been part of the franchise being unable to drive at all and not even having a license at the start of their time on the films.
Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Letty, and Jordana Brewster, who plays Mia, are two of the most high-profile examples who weren't able to drive when they took on their roles, a fact which, perhaps, makes their acting even more impressive.
18 Han's Full Name Is A Star Wars Reference
One of the most popular characters from the Fast and Furious franchise is Han. He is an incredibly cool character and was a real hit with the fans of the films but what some might not know is that his name is a nod to another major film franchise. Whilst you might not associate Star Wars with the Fast and Furious films, it is through Han that there is a slight tie between them.
And it goes beyond just the obvious 'Han' because his full name is revealed to be even closer to the legendary Star Wars character. His full name is actually Han Seoul-Oh, an obvious nod to the smuggler, Han Solo, who is one of the most popular characters in movie history, as originally portrayed by Harrison Ford.
17 Eminem Was Once Considered
As we previously mentioned, Ja Rule was once considered as a major star in the franchise but he isn't the only person that the producers thought about bringing in but not ended up using. The role of Brian O'Conner is a major one in the franchise and because of that, the producers considered a lot of potential actors.
Major Hollywood names such as Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg were thought of but there is another name that might surprise you: rap legend Eminem was also once considered for the role, which makes sense considering how big of a name he was during the time of casting. But for whatever reason, the casting department ended on Paul Walker for the role and it's hard to imagine anyone else in that spot now.
16 The Incredibly Long Runway
Whilst the vault scene from Fast Five is a well-remembered moment from the franchise, another scene that many fans love is the runway scene from Fast & Furious 6, which is the final action sequence of the movie. The scene sees the entire crew chasing a cargo plane which is trying to take off and it goes on for around 13 minutes, which has led some people to go and do the math of just how long the runway would have to be to allow the scene to be possible.
Vulture figured out that the runway would have to be an incredible 28.86 miles, with the cars driving at an average of 120 mph. To put it into perspective, the longest runway ever paved is just 3.4 miles long.
15 Furious 7 Retcons Tokyo Drift
Often with long film series, things can get jumbled up in terms of storylines and sometimes, that leads to another film being used to clear things up, which is exactly what happened with Furious 7. The movie doesn't just make slight alterations to the timeline, but it totally retcons Tokyo Drift in order to get the timeline straight, particularly in regards to Han's demise in Tokyo Drift.
During Furious 7, the blame for Han is put fully on Deckard Shaw, who happens to be the brother of the Fast & Furious 6 villain, Owen Shaw, which helps to sort out the timeline.
14 Dropping Cars From Planes
Throughout the entire Fast and Furious franchise, the producers have decided to do some absolutely ridiculous stunts but it is from those over the top moments that the films have become legendary, creating the hardcore fanbase that it has today. One of those insane moments came in Fast & Furious 7 when one of the set pieces saw some cars drive out of a cargo plane, in midair, before parachuting to a remote mountain road.
The stunt is, of course, utterly insane. However, as always with the franchise, the producers preferred to not use CGI and, in fact, decided to shoot this one for real, dropping a bunch of cars out of a place. One car even got totally destroyed after the parachute failed to open.
13 Ludacris Begged For A Fight Scene
Ludacris might play the tech-loving Tej in the Fast and Furious franchise but that doesn't mean that he wanted to sit out all of the major action. Whilst the likes of Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson typically handled the fight scenes, Ludacris worked hard to get in on the action. But, because of how his character was portrayed, he had to convince them to give him the chance to have a fight scene.
Eventually, his persistence paid off and he ended up getting a fight scene in Fast & Furious 7. This came because Ludacris worked hard to make it become reality, training in the 52 Blocks style of martial arts, eventually sending a demo reel to Vin Diesel and director James Wan to prove why they should have given him the shot.
12 Even More Fast & Furious (Short Films)
Whilst most hardcore fans of the Fast and Furious franchise might know this, many people do not know that there is actually even more of the franchise's universe available to watch outside of the eight main movies. Whilst the main movies are clearly the driving point of the overall story arch, there are actually two short films that were made in addition to the feature films and were done to bring the timeline together even tighter.
The Turbo Charged is a prelude to 2 Fast 2 Furious, whilst Los Bandoleros actually takes place between the third and fourth movies. Each short film can be found online for those wanting some extra content.
11 Brian Was Originally Going To Escape Prison
The character of Brian O'Conner is one of the most beloved in the Fast and Furious franchise but plans for his character in the films have been chopped and changed various times throughout. One of those was that he was originally going to escape from prison following his turn on the wrong side of the law in 2 Fast 2 Furious, initially being expected to break out of jail to kickstart the movie.
However, the idea for his character was totally changed, with O'Conner instead being rewritten as a reformed FBI agent, who then went against the law with his actions for the majority of the rest of the movies.
10 The Film Was Inspired By A Magazine
Print magazines might be going out of fashion in the modern era but without them, we would never have had the Fast and Furious franchise because the original movie actually being inspired by a magazine article. Director Rob Cohen read an article called "Racer X" in Vibe Magazine back in 1998 and the article detailed a street racing scene in New York.
This inspired Cohen to go and seek out a real-life street race. After seeing the race, he was so inspired that he came up with the movie idea and not only convinced Universal to make it but convinced them to buy the rights to the original article from the magazine, as well.
9 Brian & Letty Don't Talk Until The Sixth Movie
When you think about the main characters of the Fast and Furious franchise, the members of the 'family' and crew are those who often come straight to mind, with Brian and Letty being two of the most popular characters. However, if you go back and watch the films in order and pay close attention to them as characters, you will see that they don't actually have a conversation on camera until six movies in.
In the first movie, they do not talk, then Michelle Rodriquez opted to not come back for the second, and neither of them is in the third film. Letty then passes away in the fourth movie and she doesn't appear in the fifth, either!
8 Dwayne Johnson Watches Himself Play Football
Often in movies, the producers like to place in little nods as easter eggs for fans to pick out. One of those tidbits takes place in Furious 7 during the hospital scene, when Hobbs is recovering. Within that scene, Hobbs can be seen watching a college football game but any eagle-eyed viewers might notice that the person playing in that particular game happens to be Dwayne Johnson himself, from his former college football days.
The game shows the University of Miami player in action, with the commentators referencing number 94, which was the jersey worn by Johnson during his career. And the game footage on the screen ends up being a real game that he played in in real life.
7 Social Media Helped Get Johnson His Role
Speaking of Dwayne Johnson, he actually owes a lot of gratitude to social media for the fact that he even landed a role in the franchise which he helped so much, with online tactics actually being a big reason for him getting the part of Hobbs. Vin Diesel had posted on his own social media page, asking the fans of the series which actors they would like to see join the franchise and Dwayne Johnson happened to be one of the most common answers due to his huge popularity.
The producers had originally made the decision to put Men In Black star Tommy Lee Jones in for the role of Hobbs but due to the fans' demands, Vin Diesel decided to push for Johnson's involvement.
6 Paul Walker Picked His Own 2 Fast 2 Furious Cars
During the films, there are an incredible number of cars used and whilst not every car is an amazing supercar, those driven by the main characters tend to be some of the best vehicles ever made. The likes of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker have been able to get behind the wheel of some pretty amazing rides, but when it comes to Walker, he tended to have more of a say on what he drives than most other actors.
During 2 Fast 2 Furious, Walker actually picked his own cars, meaning every vehicle you see him drive in the movie is specifically chosen by Walker himself. As a known car enthusiast, the producers seemingly trusted him to always choose a good car.
5 Tyrese Gibson Doesn't Like The Rock
Whilst Dwayne Johnson had a tremendous effect on the Fast and Furious franchise and is one of the most likable men in Hollywood, he hasn't managed to win everyone over in the crew, with Tyrese Gibson being very vocal about his feelings towards him.
Gibson has taken offense to the fact that Johnson has become a huge star in the franchise, even getting his own spin-off movie, Hobbs & Shaw. The decision to make that movie ended up creating a delay on the forthcoming Fast & Furious 9 and Gibson didn't appreciate that. Gibson has gone on to be very vocal about his feelings towards Johnson, claiming he is destroying the Fast and Furious family, but the former wrestler has simply kept quiet about the situation, admitting it is a shame.
4 Paul Walker's Brother Finished His Character
Not everything has been smooth sailing for the franchise, with the sad demise of Paul Walker when the incredibly popular young actor lost his life in a high-speed car accident. The moment brought shock and sadness and hit the Fast and Furious crew harder than most, with the actors being a tight-knit group in real life. However, the filming had to go on and Walker's character still had a part to play.
Because the producers needed the character, a mixture of CGI and body doubles were used to create the character after Walker's passing, and his real brothers even came in to provide the voiceover and help finish filming of the movie.
3 Two Scripts Were Written For 2 Fast 2 Furious
Many fans of Fast and Furious may not know that the 2 Fast 2 Furious actually had a totally different script that was never used—meaning there is a full film concept out there somewhere that was never created! The reason for it was because production was concerned that Vin Diesel wouldn't make it in time to the set for the filming to begin.
Therefore, they wrote another movie that had Roman Pearce act as the main character. The original plans were for Paul Walker and Vin Diesel to take down the kingpin, Carter Verone, as well, with the other script obviously never being used, although some moments might have been the same.
2 Why Vin Diesel Returned
Whilst Vin Diesel is the first name that everyone thinks of when it comes to the Fast and Furious movies because Diesel is the face of the franchise, it is often forgotten that he only makes a short cameo appearance in the third movie. The third installment—which is often criticized—took the action to Tokyo and Vin Diesel only appeared in the final scene, reprising his Dominic Toretto character, which was done in order to boost box office hopes.
The film had received poor test screening ratings and Universal worked hard to bring Vin Diesel back to help change that. The only reason he agreed to it was that Universal gave him the full rights to the Riddick franchise, which allowed him to make the 2013 movie himself. The gamble paid off, with the cameo drawing enough interest to keep the series alive.
1 Continuity Errors
Whilst the Fast and Furious franchise is known for incredibly wild and unrealistic moments, that doesn't mean that the fans don't take it seriously, which is why they expect everything to make sense and fit into order. However, much like any major series, there are some continuity errors in the series that dedicated fans can easily spot.
One of the main issues people have is the fact that Fast & Furious 6 is supposed to happen after Tokyo Drift, yet everything looks so dated in comparison. Other issues people have discovered include the fact that people seemingly stop caring about Han and that Leon never returns from the original movie, despite the fact that Vin Diesel's character focuses fully on family and its importance.
Sources: The Wrap, Vanity Fair, Buzzfeed, Ranker, and Digital Spy.