While Vin Diesel said in the past that Furious 8 is the first of a final trilogy to close out the film series, apparently there’s a much longer road ahead. According to the actor, Universal isn’t going to let this franchise fizzle out so easily: a series of spin-offs are being developed.
Diesel broke the news to Variety in an interview, saying:
We’ve written out story lines for various characters. We’ve been playing with it for a long time. It’s a very rich property and we’re committed to treating it with a lot of class.
Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley further confirmed to the trade that there have been conversations about expanding the franchise, teasing that there is “room to bring characters in and out.” But which characters?
Diesel is the most likely choice. He’s been a part of the franchise since the first film in 2001, after which he’s gone on to rile up his diehard fan base around the series. The actor, who plays Dominic Toretto, has even begun dropping major announcements on his ever popular Facebook page as a producer of the franchise, including F. Gary Gray’s involvement as director of Furious 8, the films’ official titles and movie stills, and release dates.
Other major draws based on speculation are Dwayne Johnson and Michelle Rodriguez, who offer the franchise more star power and interesting enough stories to warrant spin-offs. Johnson’s Hobbs could further branch out his missions as a Diplomatic Security Service agent, while Rodriguez’s Letty is on a mission of her own to piece together her life. These spin-offs also afford Universal the opportunity to introduce and explore new sets of characters and A-to-B-list actors to headline their stories.
In the meantime, Gray’s Furious 8, said to take these characters to New York City, is on the production road for an April 14, 2017 release date.