Behind the Scenes of Fast & Furious: Unraveling the Stories That Never Revved Up

  • Vin Diesel was not the first choice for the role of Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious. The studio initially wanted Timothy Olyphant, and there are significant differences between the original project and the final result.
  • Vin Diesel did not return for 2 Fast 2 Furious, the only movie in the main saga without him or Paul Walker. However, a The Fast and the Furious sequel with Diesel could have happened.
    • Vin Diesel was originally supposed to star in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, but the studio wanted a high school setting instead. He made a cameo at the end of the film.

    Fast & Furious has gone from a low-stakes, standalone movie to a full-on blockbuster franchise, but not every envisioned project has become a reality. The Fast Saga premiered in 2001 with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel as lead actors, and it ended up spreading over 11 movies, one spin-off, two different short films, and a television series as of 2023, with more to come. The Fast & Furious franchise, which grossed over $7 billion globally, was supposed to be even bigger, and some projects will never get to happen.

    Related: Every Fast & Furious Movie Ranked From Worst to Best

    The Original The Fast And The Furious

    Vin Diesel Wasn’t The First Choice

    Dominic Toretto crosses his arms in front of black smoke from Fast & Furious

    Although no one could see any actor portraying Dominic Toretto other than Vin Diesel, he wasn’t the first choice for the part. The first film, based on the article “Racer X” by Ken Li, always had Paul Walker tied to it, as Waulker had worked with director Rob Cohen on 2000’s The Skulls. Gary Scott Thompson wrote the original script, and the action took place in New York. However, David Ayer and Erik Bergquist were brought to the project and changed most of it. When it comes to Dominic Toretto’s role, the studio initially wanted Timothy Olyphant. Luckily for Diesel, Olyphant had previously starred in a car-related film, Gone in 60 Seconds, and declined the role.

    Producer Neal H. Moritz suggested Vin Diesel after his role in the 2000’s Pitch Black. However, despite him not starring in lead roles yet, Diesel didn’t accept the deal right away, and most of the script had to be rewritten with his notes before he accepted. Jordana Brewster wasn’t the first choice, either, as Mia Toretto was originally written for Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Eliza Dushku. The Fast and the Furious could have been a very different film, but the final result is arguably the better version of the project.

    Fast & Furious 2 With Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto

    The Second Movie Gives Brian A New Partner

    Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto with Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibbons from 2 Fast 2 Furious

    Vin Diesel didn’t return for 2 Fast 2 Furious, even though the first installment helped launch his career. Although he was reportedly offered $25 million to reprise his role, he didn’t sign on for the sequel, because he didn’t feel like the film needed one and didn’t like the script. 2 Fast 2 Furious went on to introduce Tyrese’s Roman Pearce and put Paul Walker’s Brian in the spotlight. However, had Diesel joined the sequel, it would surely have been massively different from what audiences got. Years later, Diesel confirmed that he would’ve done things differently and fought harder for revisions on the script, as he did with the first one.

    Tokyo Drift With Toretto As The Main Character

    Vin Diesel Only Had a Small Cameo

    Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto and the Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift's Luke and Han

    he Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is the third installment in the Fast saga. However, it can be considered a standalone as it doesn’t feature any of the previous characters. It introduces Sung Kang as Han Lue, who would go on to reprise his role in 2009’s Fast & Furious. Vin Diesel reprised his role as Dominic Toretto in a very brief cameo at the end of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, though, but that only happened after making a unique deal with Universal Pictures: he wanted the rights to Riddick, the sci-fi action saga for which he wanted to develop a sequel.

    Although he has a short cameo at the end of the film, Vin Diesel was originally supposed to star in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The movie’s screenwriter, Chris Morgan, told UPROXX. “Essentially it was Tokyo Drift, but it was with Vin, and his character kind of had to go out and learn drifting. And there was a murder he had to solve. … And they said, ‘Nah, can’t do that. We have to do high school.’” Luckily, they didn’t go for that idea, and the franchise lived on, with Diesel and the rest of the cast returning for the fourth one. Tokyo Drift would be “retconned back” into the franchise during Fast & Furious 6‘s post-credits scene.

    Vin Diesel’s Solo Dominic Toretto Movie

    Fast & Furious Was Supposed To Be Dom’s Movie

    Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in Fast & Furious

    Vin Diesel is the star of the Fast & Furious franchise, but he almost had his solo movie, too. Diesel’s career only evolved after The Fast And The Furious, and he made his way back to Dom Toretto with a cameo in 2006’s The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift. Diesel would fully return to the role and reunite with the original cast for 2009’s Fast & Furious. However, before the 2009 film reunited the original crew, it was supposed to be a solo Dominic Toretto movie. Considering how solid Fast & Furious (2009) was, and how it reignited the franchise, it’s good that a solo Toretto film didn’t happen during that time.

    Hobbs & Shaw 2

    The Sequel With Dwayne Johnson And Jason Statham Is Long In The Works

    Hobbs & Shaw introduced the franchise’s antiheroes, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), giving them their spin-off film in 2019. The spin-off was a success, making $760 million at the box office with a $200 million budget. Naturally, Universal greenlit a sequel, but it never materialized. The movie was supposed to take the two action stars on more adventures, but it’s unlikely it will happen now.

    Related: Hobbs & Shaw 2: Confirmation, Dwayne Johnson’s Fast Saga Plans & Everything We Know

    Hobbs & Shaw 2 has been in active development since November 2021, but there are not many details available. The latest updates indicate that the next Hobbs movie will not be a sequel to Hobbs & Shaw. Instead, it will be a Dwayne Johnson solo Fast & Furious film building up from Fast X‘s ending. Despite his differences with Vin Diesel, The Rock reprised his role in Fast X in a post-credits scene, setting up his solo future in the franchise.

    The Original Furious 7

    Paul Walker’s Tragic Death Called For Many Changes

    Furious 7 picks up after the events of Fast & Furious 6 and mixes with Tokyo Drift, with Lucas Black reprising his role as Sean Boswell. After appearing in the credits scene of Fast & Furious 6, Jason Statham has a bigger role in the movie. The film also marks Paul Walker’s last acting credit, as he passed away during filming. Universal put the movie on hold, and, although Furious 7 was almost canceled, the filmmakers were able to reshoot and rewrite the film. For the remaining scenes in the movie, Paul Walker’s brothers, Cody and Caleb, acted as stand-ins for Brian’s scenes. Later, they used CGI to recreate Paul Walker’s face.

    Fast X as the Series’ Ending

    Fast X Was Supposed To Tie All Lose Ends

    Cipher in Fast 9 and the poster for Furious X

    Cipher in Fast 9 and the poster for Furious X

    The Fast saga had been hinting at “one last ride” for a while, although there is no certain end in sight. It was all supposed to end with Fast X, which would tie all loose ends. Later, the project evolved into a two-part finale. Justin Lin was supposed to direct both films but exited Fast X due to creative differences. With Dwayne Johnson’s new Fast & Furious spinoff in development, it’s clear that Fast X is no longer really the end of the franchise. It also remains to be seen whether Fast & Furious 12 will happen as, despite what Vin Diesel has hinted at, a new film in the main saga after Fast X, Part 2 has yet to be confirmed.

    All-Female Fast & Furious Spin-Off

    A Project Long In The Works

    Gisele, Cipher, and Letty in Fast & Furious

    Gisele, Cipher, and Letty in Fast & Furious© Provided by ScreenRant

    In 2019, Vin Diesel teased an all-female spin-off for the Fast & Furious franchise. Nicole Perlman, Lindsey Beer, and Geneva Robertson-Dworet were tied to the project for the script, and the timeline suggested it would come out after Fast 9. That hasn’t happened yet, but the project isn’t canceled, so it might happen eventually. Still, there’s no certainty about it. It’s unclear which Fast & Furious characters would be part of the movie, but Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tess (Brie Larson), Gisele (Gal Gadot), and Cipher (Charlize Theron) would likely be part of it

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