The furious are back as “Fate of the Furious”, the eighth film in Universal Pictures’ lucrative car-themed franchise, hits theaters this holiday weekend. With an expected monster debut for the film I decided to take a look at a few fun facts about the movie to get everyone in gear (pun intended).
For this list I took a look at some of the coolest and most interesting trivia facts for “Fate of the Furious” including production notes, plot lines, character details, and behind the scenes trivia to help get you pumped for the film. These fact are not necessarily in any specific order, but were all tidbits I felt were worthy of noting before the movie makes its mark on Easter weekend. I hope you guys find them as interesting as I did and be sure to check out the film and look for my review this weekend.
Here we go!
10. Oscar involvement
Courtesy of comicbook.com
For the first time, the “Furious” franchise will have some Oscar-winning names involved in a project with both Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron on board for the movie. Theron will be playing the films main antagonist and won an Oscar for her role in 2004’s “Monster”, while Mirren, who will portray the mother of “Furious 7” antagonist Deckard Shaw, took home an Oscar for “The Queen” in 2006. Both won for Best Actress and, as it would have it, Mirren actually beat out Theron for the 2006 honor. Theron also took home a Golden Globe for her role in “Monster” while Mirren has won several Emmys. Their appearances add some award-winning talent and female star power to a franchise that used to ooze masculinity but has begun to incorporate more powerful female characters over the past few entries.
9. First female antagonist
Courtesy of Universal Studios
Piggybacking on the previous piece of trivia, the eighth film in the “Furious” franchise will be incorporating the first female lead antagonist in the series’ history. We’ve seen female bad-asses in previous “Furious” movies, but this is the first time the main villain will be a female. Charlize Theron will portray cyber terrorist Cipher who manages to corrupt Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto into turning on his allies and friends. Cipher’s motives are unknown, but we do know she has a previous connection with Toretto and judging by the trailers she appears to have a knowledge of computers and can access and drive vehicles ranging from normal every-day cars to submarines with the push of a button.
8. Switching sides
Courtesy of Universal Studios
“Furious 7’s” main villain appears to be switching sides, as Jason Statham will return to portray the now-imprisoned Deckard Shaw. Shaw will be joining Toretto’s crew, as well as DSS agent Luke Hobbs, to hunt down Dominic Toretto after Toretto becomes corrupted by Cipher. Shaw’s attempts at revenge against Toretto in the previous film make him an asset to the crew and the mysterious Mr. Nobody in the hunt to bring in Dom and put and end to Cipher’s plans. This is Statham’s third “Furious” film after making a cameo in “Fast & Furious 6” and starring as the main villain in “Furious 7”.
7. A familier director
Courtesy of Collider
Director F. Gary Gray is no stranger to many members of the “Fate of the Furious” cast. Gray beat out several contenders to direct the film and has directed several films starring cast members of “Fast 8”. He directed Vin Diesel in “A Man Apart” in 2003, worked with both Jason Statham and Charlize Theron on the 2003 remake of “The Italian Job”, and directed Dwayne Johnson in “Be Cool”. Gray beat out Louis Leterrier, William Eubank, Adam Wingard, and the cinematographer of the first “Furious” film Ericson Core for the director position.
6. An April tradition
Courtesy of Autoblog
“The Fate of the Furious” will continue a trend for the film series with an April release date and the series’ second consecutive Easter weekend theatrical release after 2015’s “Furious 7” debuted on Easter weekend that year. The “Furious” franchise used to be a summer box-office staple, with the first three films release in June, however with the fourth entry Universal began to embrace April release dates with the fourth, fifth, and seventh films all released in that month during their respective years and the sixth film released in May. It appears Universal is trying to grab a hold of the Easter weekend as it’s traditional release strategy with the seventh and now eighth films filling the lucrative holiday weekend. The next two films, nine and ten, have already been planned and are also expected to have April releases over the next four years.
5. First American film to be shot in Cuba (kind of)
Courtesy of the AP
Alright so the title of this one is a bit misleading as Hollywood has likely filmed in Cuba in years past. However, “Fate of the Furious” is the first film to be shot in some part in Cuba since the embargo against Cuba was eased. The film was the first big-budget American production allowed to shoot scenes in Cuba after the easing of the embargo with filming taking place in April of 2016 in Havana. Since tensions began between Cuba and the Untied State in the 1950s many films have been set in Cuba, but have used other locations like the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico as substitute backdrops. Many other filmmakers are eying the tropical island for future movies as well as the backdrop is considered to be rather unique. The filming of “Fast 8” also employed people from Cuba while on the island who were quoted saying that their perspective on the “evil” Hollywood had changed after being a part of the production.
4. Widest pre-summer release ever
Courtesy of Universal Studios
“The Fate of the Furious” will set a new standard when it comes to pre-summer releases in 2017 as it will become the widest released pre-summer film ever. The movie is expected to open in 4,304 venues in the United States alone this Friday, beating out “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” which opened in 4,232 theaters on its own opening weekend. Expectations for the film are high with over $375 million expected to be earned in its first five days. The film is expected to hit 20,000 screens overseas and is considered a contender to become one of the biggest Hollywood films to be released in the Middle Kingdom alone as well.
3. For Paul Walker
The eighth “Furious” film will be the second without Paul Walker, but the first after his untimely death during production of “Furious 7”, a film that paid tribute to him in its closing scene and with its soundtrack hit “See You Again”. At the time some wondered if Walker’s death would put an end to the “Furious” franchise, but it was revealed by Vin Diesel that Walker had told him during “Furious 7’s” filming that the eighth film was a shoe-in. Filmmakers and the actors decided to go ahead with the production of an eighth film partially in honor of Walker and Diesel even said that “Fast 8” would be “for Paul” as Walker had told him the eighth film was guaranteed to be made. Rumors have stated that the film will be a return to a more car racing-focused film which was a direction Walker wanted to see the franchise return to before his death. There were also rumors that Walker’s brothers, who filled in for him through CGI at the end of “Furious 7”, would stand in for him again to give Walker’s Brian O’Conner a cameo, but this has sense be debunked. However a picture of O’Conner does appear in the trailers.
2. The Johnson/Diesel feud
Courtesy of GeekTyrant
One of the most talked about behind-the-scenes stories for “Fast 8” has been the strange feud between two of its males leads. Few people know exactly why Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel are not getting along, but their feud bled into the production of “Fast 8” to the point where the two had secret meetings to try and work things out, to no avail. The feud came to a head after Diesel supposedly canceled some of Johnson’s planned scenes for the film and at times refused to show up on set when he was scheduled to. The later apparently led to an Instagram rant by Dwayne Johnson calling his male costars “chicken shit” and “candy asses” and questioning their professionalism. He even stated that the feud may have bled into the actual movie as his character Hobbs comes into conflict with Diesel’s Toretto. “When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I’m not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling – you’re right,” Johnson said in the post, which was posted on his final day of shooting for the film. Diesel confronted Johnson in a secret meeting the next day but sources say their feud continues.
1. First “Furious” film in the Big Apple
The “Furious” franchise has been well known for exploring more tropical or warmer locations, but never has it been in New York City. “Furious 8” will take place in the Big Apple, a first for the franchise and its first major setting on the east coast of the United States outside of Florida. Scenes were filmed in New York City and Atlanta and Vin Diesel made a point to hint many times and eventually officially confirm that New York would be the new location for Dom and his crew. Diesel made an official announcement at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards where he also said the film would be “for Paul” referencing Paul Walker. Keeping with this theme the trailer for “Fate of the Furious” was debuted in New York City’s Times Square in December of 2016 where the streets were shut down briefly and all 56 billboards in Times Square were lit up with the trailer’s reveal.