It has been almost 2 years since “Fast & Furious” franchise star Paul Walker passed away in an ill-fated real-life car crash and our hearts still ache in sadness. There’s no denying that the 7th instalment of the “Fast & Furious” film series is going to evoke tears as the late Paul Walker will be seen on-screen for the last time.
Titled “Furious 7”, the long awaited instalment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise is the first film in the series to take place after 2006’s “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”. It is undoubtedly going to be an exciting movie to watch as it is best known for its adrenaline pumping scenes. The film is set to be a revenge-driven thriller film as the death of Owen Shaw (played by Luke Evans) in “Fast 6” has his brother Deckard (played by Jason Statham) seeking revenge on Vin Diesel‘s Dominic Toretto and his gang.
Written by Chris Morgan and directed by James Wan (of “The Conjuring” fame), the film also stars Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and Lucas Black. It was supposed to be released in cinemas last June, but the production was shut down indefinitely due to Walker’s tragic death. The release date was pushed back to a year later in order to give Walker’s family some time to grieve.
There were a lot of discussions on how to give Walker’s character a proper ending in the movie, but it was later decided that his character will be retired instead of killed. It is most definitely going to be an emotional moment for those of us who have been following the series closely.
Whether you’re a Fast fan or not, here are some of the things you should know about “Furious 7”:
(This article contain potential spoilers)
1. Paul Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, were used as stand-ins for his remaining scenes
After the tragic death of Walker, it was announced that his character will be retired instead of killed in the movie, allowing the franchise to continue making films. It was then reported that the studio would complete Walker’s remaining scenes by hiring 4 actors with bodies very similar to his physique and using CGI to re-create his face and voice.
On 15th April 2014, it was announced that Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, would be used as stand-ins instead. Thus, despite his limited scenes, Walker is still the lead actor of the film alongside Vin Diesel.
2. It is the most expensive movie in “Fast & Furious” franchise
With all those expensive cars and what not, there’s no denying that “Furious 7” is currently the most expensive movie in “Fast and Furious” franchise. It was reported that the producers already spent more than $140 million to produce the 140-minute, action packed movie.
3. Denzel Washington was offered to play a mysterious role, but he turned it down
His role ultimately went to Kurt Rusell, but it is unclear whether he is playing a villain or a hero. He was rumoured to play the role of Brian O’Conner’s father figure.
4. “3 Idiots” star Ali Fazal will have 3 scenes in the film
Ali Fazal, best known for his role in “3 Idiots” and “Bobby Jasoos”, is reportedly joining the film as an Arabian who is passionate about cars and car races. According to Indian Express, the actor will have 3 scenes in the film.
The actor shared a few photos with the cast when he was on set of the film:
With Cody Walker:
With the late Paul Walker:
his last words to me, ” keep it real, see u soon brother” .. RIP . true fan … u went out in style walker. GT. wat can i say. A photo posted by ali fazal (@alifazal9) on
In addition, several Bollywood actresses including Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut and Chitrangada Singhwere being considered for the role of Megan.
The role was ultimately grabbed by “Game of Thrones” star Nathalie Emmanuel.
5. Iggy Azalea will have a cameo appearance
Best known for her breakthrough single “Fancy”, Australian rapper Iggy Azalea will have a cameo appearance in “Furious 7”. The Grammy Award nominee told AccessHollywood that she is set to play a friend of Vin Diesel’s character and that she only has 2 lines in the film.
Iggy Azalea on the set of Fast & Furious 7 http://t.co/ELCyIhM1we
— IGGY AZALEA SOURC (@IggySource) July 31, 2014
Just for me to say 2 lines it took like 16 hours of setting up and going over and I definitely have an appreciation for actors now.
She also revealed that she initially thought she was “just going to have to wave the flag” instead of being a friend of Diesel’s character.
6. Diesel’s daughter owns a car from the movie
Remember the bright red 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS454 coupe that Diesel’s character drove off at the end of “Fast and Furious 4”? It’s a beautiful car, isn’t it? If you’ve been following the series closely, the car is seen again in 2009’s “Fast and Furious”. What’s so surprising about that, you ask?
Well, we can only say that Hania Riley Vincent lucky to have Diesel as her father because he gave her at least one of the Red Chevelles. The actor told MTV News that he gave the cars to her because she was born when “Fast & Furious” was in production.
7. There’s an extra tribute clip at the end of the film
Although the franchise emphasises on the intense fast-moving car scenes, the film will present a touching tribute to the late Paul Walker. Following Walker’s tragic death, the cast members of the “Fast & Furious” franchise have been posting various dedications and tribute to their fallen friend.
His departure from the world truly caused a huge impact on his fans and thus, the tribute clip is expected to be featured in the film. According to Ramin Setoodeh of Variety, many viewers were holding back their tears when they watched the tribute clip at a secret screening at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival on 16th March 2015.
8. A total of 34 cars were used for the one-shot car skydiving scene
Dennis McCarthy is the car coordinator for the “Fast & Furious” franchise since 2006’s “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”. He told CNET that he only had 3 months to assemble a collection of high-performance JDM machines and send the cars to set with wet paint for “Furious 7”.
It was “the shortest build” that McCarthy and his team (roughly 70 people) ever had.
When asked how many cars were used for the high-octane franchise, McCarthy said approximately 350 cars were used in the film and “a couple hundred” of them were destroyed.
This is mainly because multiple cars are needed for one shot at one location. He further revealed that they needed 34 cars including 6 Subaru WRXs, 8 Dodge Chargers, 8 Challengers, 6 Jeeps, and 6 Camaros for the car skydiving scene. The cars were dropped out of the plane again and again in order to create that spectacular shot. He revealed that they lost 3 or 4 cars in the process.
9. Both Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster were cast despite not having driver’s licenses.
Both Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez learnt how to drive through the franchise. Brewster said that learning how to drive in New York City was a challenging place to start. Due to insurance requirements, she had to pass their driving test in one take or else she would be dropped from the movie.
Rodrigues also told Entertainment Tonight that learning how to drive led her to a series of speeding problems because she got her license for “Fast and Furious”. She added:
After 11 points on your license, you’re like, “Yo, where’s that Prius at? I’m dropping this M3 somewhere.”
10. A vehicular stunt was shut down as it was too risky
It was reported that a vehicular stunt scene was shut down by Universal Studio executives who feared for the safety of the cast and crew. According to TMZ, it was a critical scene that was supposed to involve “a souped-up yellow Chevelle” that would race another car and “dramatically pop a wheelie, as bystanders stand right by the track and cheer”.
Though James Wan and the producers already hired “drivers who are ‘authentic street racers’ for the scene”, the executives claimed that it was too risky to be included in the film, especially after the death of Paul Walker. The report further revealed that the producers also thought another car crash could “jeopardize the entire franchise”.
“Furious 7” is the first sequel which is not being directed by “Star Trek” director Justin Lin or the co-star director Sung Kang. It is slated for release on 3rd April 2015.