While the highly anticipated sequel Fast & Furious 6 doesn’t hit theaters until next month, Universal has made no secret about the fact that they are already moving right along with plans for Fast & Furious 7. Though director Justin Lin—who has altogether helmed four films in the series including Fast Five and 6—recently declined to return to helm the seventh installment, the studio quickly made other arrangements and entered negotiations with Saw and The Conjuring director James Wan to take the reigns of Fast 7 just last week.
With a 2014 release date planned, star Vin Diesel suggested that filming on Fast 7 would begin this summer. Steve recently spoke with new franchise addition Dwayne Johnson in anticipation of Michael Bay’s upcoming black comedy Pain & Gain, and the actor raised some doubts about that potential summer start-date. Hit the jump for more.
Johnson has been attached to star in director Brett Ratner’s new iteration of Hercules for some time, with the film being somewhat of a passion project for the actor. Filming on Hercules is set to begin this year, and when Steve asked Johnson if it was possible for production on Fast & Furious 7 to get underway as early as this summer, the actor said it would prove difficult for him:
“It’s not possible for me because I’m shooting Hercules this summer starting in 6 weeks in Budapest, so, possible for them I’m not too sure. I haven’t heard anything about that and I’m pretty sure I would have gotten a phone call pretty early in the morning if that was the real plan. Not quite too sure though.”
The summer start-date for Fast & Furious 7 really only seemed feasible if the creative team behind Fast & Furious 6 (primarily Justin Lin) were planning to stay onboard, and now that a new director is being brought into the fold, it would prove quite difficult for Wan to complete pre-production in time to start filming in the next few months.
Stranger things have happened, though, so it’s also possible that filming could begin late this summer with Johnson coming in to shoot his scenes once he wraps Hercules. At this time, we just don’t know. It’s tough to imagine Universal dropping Johnson from the franchise just so they can make a summer 2014 date, especially since they’re also developing a spinoff film for his Hobbs character. If there is a serious scheduling conflict with Johnson, it’s possible that the script could have a reduced role for Hobbs in Fast & Furious 7. We also don’t know where the character ends up at the conclusion of Fast & Furious 6, so it’s tough to say to what extent he would be involved in the next installment of the series.
The most likely scenario seems to be that production on Fast & Furious 7 would begin this fall or winter in anticipation of a late 2014 release. Again, nothing is confirmed, but like Johnson said, he probably would have been contacted if filming on the next movie were poised to begin in a couple of months.