Exclusive: Producer Neal H. Moritz on FAST AND THE FURIOUS 5 and 6! Plus Info on the HIGHLANDER Reboot

     March 31, 2010

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Over the past few months I’ve landed interviews with a few movie producers (Mike De Luca, Dan Lin) that have a lot of projects in development.  Since the interviews cover so many movies, I’ve called the series “Seven Days With…” so I can break down each interview into smaller sections.  While you may have thought the series was over…it was only because I’ve been trying to land my next interviewee and today begins “Seven Days With Producer Neal H. Moritz.”

If you look over Moritz’s IMDb profile, you’ll see he’s producing some huge projects like Doc Savage, Man-Witch, Hench, 21 Jump Street, Jack the Giant Killer, xXx, Battle: Los Angeles, Green Hornet, Flash Gordon, and so many other movies it would be impossible to list them all here.  All you need to know is…over the next week, you can expect tons of updates on almost everything he’s involved with and what he thinks about 3D, how he got started as a producer, and so much more.

While I debated where to start “Seven Days With Neal Moritz”, I went with his very popular franchise and a another franchise that’s about to get a reboot:  Fast and the Furious and Highlander! So if you’re curious about either series, hit the jump for info on Fast and the Furious 5 and 6 as well as what’s up with the reboot of Highlander:

Since I know how people love bullet points…

Fast and the Furious

  • They’re filming Fast Five (Fast and the Furious 5’s title) this summer in Brazil, Rio, Puerto Rico, a little bit in Los Angeles and some in Atlanta
  • The cities being filmed in are part of the story
  • They’re developing the 6th film right now but they’re not shooting back-to-back
  • Paul Walker and Vin Diesel want to do the 5th and 6th films but they are not yet signed to the 6th
  • There’s going to be a lot of people from the previous Fast and Furious in the 5th movie.  They are literally finalizing the script right now.  (I think they’re working on contracts with the actors and based on who signs on will determine who is back in the franchise)
  • They’re not shooting Fast Five in 3D but “there’s a good chance the movie will be in 3D.”
  • Justin Lin is directing Highlander after Fast Five and they haven’t figured out if he’ll direct the 6th installment


  • Moritz says it’s “closer to a reboot than anything else.”
  • Regarding using the Queen music: “Maybe. We love the Queen music and we’ll see what happens.”
  • And here’s my two cents…if Justin Lin is doing Fast Five before Highlander, that means the earliest Highlander is shooting is next year which means a 2012 release for Highlander if they don’t run into any script/studio problems along the way

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Here’s the part of my exclusive interview with producer Neal H. Moritz on the Fast and the Furious franchise and Highlander.  Look for more with Moritz tomorrow.

Collider: With Fast and Furious there was a lot of talk that you guys might do the 5th and 6th movie together.

Neal H. Moritz: We’re not going to actually shoot them together, but we’re already starting to prepare the 6th one as well.  We have an idea of what we want it to be and we’re working on that. We’re not going to shoot them back-to-back but we’re going to hopefully shoot them close together.

Is it where you’re setting up the 5th film for like sort of cliffhanger to go right into the 6th?

Moritz: It’s not that we’re setting it up necessarily for a cliffhanger, but we have an idea that breaks off from the 5th that goes into the 6th.

Are Paul and Vin committed to doing both?

Moritz: Well, contractually committed? No, but we all want to do it.

I know that I believe Justin was in Brazil scouting.

Moritz: That’s right. We’re going to shoot the movie in Brazil, Rio, Puerto Rico, a little bit in Los Angeles and some in Atlanta.

So it’s world-wide.

fast___furious_movie_image_paul_walker_and_vin_diesel.jpgMoritz: Yes.

Now are you incorporating the real locations you’re shooting at into the…is that part of the story?

Moritz: Yes, it is.

So it’s one of these they have to travel the world?

Moritz: Most of the movie is set in South America. They’re on the run.

I was going to ask you because a lot of talk has been they’re on the run from the law.

Moritz: They’re on the run and then something happens and they have to…and there’s going to be a lot of people from the previous Fast and Furious in the movie.

You’re getting to my next thing. Tyrese and some of the other people are they coming back?

Moritz: We’re talking…we’re trying to finalize the script right now but the goal is to bring touchstone’s characters from each of the movies back.

You mentioned earlier in our conversation that real life stuff shooting in 3D might be cool. A lot of people are wondering are you thinking about Fast and Furious

Moritz: Fast and Furious will be a very hard movie to shoot in 3D because of the way we do the car stuff and because the movie has such quick cuts. So we have had many discussions about it. I don’t think we’ll actually shoot in 3D but there’s a good chance the movie will be in 3D.

I want to jump into Highlander. You mentioned Justin is going to probably direct it.

Moritz: Yes.

Highlander movie poster (2).jpgAre you guys…is it a clean slate or are you guys trying to incorporate anything from previous…?

Moritz: We’re staying true to the mythologies as a whole of the Highlander series. Now there are certain things between all the different Highlanders that conflict with each other, but we’re trying to stay true to the core of what we believe Highlander is and it’s a movie that’s going to be made for the fans of Highlander but also for people who are new to the franchise.

I loved the first Highlander movie. Are you guys…is it a reboot or is it incorporating anything from the previous films?

Moritz: I wouldn’t necessarily call it…I guess it would be closer to a reboot than anything else but there’s a great history of Highlander that we’re staying with and it’s an origin story.

Are you even thinking about the Queen music and possibly doing…

Moritz: Maybe, maybe. We love the Queen music and we’ll see what happens.

You mentioned…I want to jump back for a second…you mentioned Justin might be doing or is doing Highlander.

Moritz: Yes.

Does that mean that he’s not doing the 6th Fast and Furious?

Moritz: No, maybe we’ll do 5 and then we’ll jump into Highlander and then come back to 6, or maybe he won’t do the 6th.  We haven’t gone that far honestly. We just know we have a template for what we want 6 to be already. And we’re really working hard to see if we can make that happen quickly.

Were you surprised…a lot of us thought that the 4th movie was going to do really well. Were you surprised at the level of…

fast___furious_movie_image_paul_walker_and_vin_diesel__3_.jpgMoritz: Yes. But we made a really conscious decision that we were not…because there was a lot of cynicism about the fact that we were going to make another one, that we were bringing actors back that were working on other movies so we were actually going to do this movie and we decided we weren’t going to do the movie unless we came up with a great idea, we got everybody back and we make a really conscious decision that we weren’t going to show anything on that movie because of the amount of cynicism until we had a great piece of material. And I remember as soon as we released our first trailer for that movie-the teaser-everything changed. It was like everybody was very cynical about the movie, they saw that and it was like, wow. And it turned. It turned on a dime.

It’s interesting because that happens a lot when people show footage.

Moritz: Yes, yes.

How much do you pay attention to the online world? Do you read the movie sites?

Moritz: I read the movie sites, I look at the movie sites and I’ve watched every trailer and I see every movie and I go with my gut.

Look for more of my interview with Neal Moritz tomorrow.


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