Considering the global fiscal success, and surprising critical praise, of James Wan‘s Furious 7, which was the last film in the storied franchise to feature the late Paul Walker, it makes sense that anticipation for Furious 8, the F. Gary Gray-helmed follow-up, has been ratcheted up lately. Though there’s plenty of reasons to get excited for the film, including the fact that Gray is behind the camera, the focus of the marketing for the film thus far has been in its historical decision to film a large part of the film in Cuba, not long after President Obama lifted sanctions against the country.
The shooting of the film in the country is the focus of the latest, bite-size taste of the film’s production that was recently posted to Facebook, highlighting the filmmaker, stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, and a large crowd of Cuban citizens working on what looks like one of the franchise’s famed drag-racing scenes. Diesel stresses the historical nature of the shoot, how its the first global blockbuster to set its action in Cuba, but there’s a few fleeting moments of real work going on here, including crew members hyping up the crowd during the drag race scene and Gray calling some shots.
It’s hard to imagine that Furious 8 will end up being as striking as Gray’s previous effort, Straight Outta Compton, but it’s clear that the focus of the two films is completely different. Where the story of N.W.A.’s ascension dealt bluntly with race and greedy manipulation in the entertainment business, Furious 8 is looking for thrills, though I’m sure there will plenty of talk about family, loyalty, and loss along the way. Even so, Gray seems more than capable of balancing these elements to make something just as purely entertaining and enjoyable as Furious 7 with his unimpeachable technical prowess.
Here’s the behind-the-scenes video posted to Facebook: