Furious Seven races onto screens April 3rd, 14 years after the first installment, The Fast and the Furious. There have been six sequels, 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013) and Furious 7 (2015) which collectively have grossed over 1.6 billion dollars and spawned a variety of lucrative products from video games to cars. The whole franchise was based off a piece written by Ken Li for Vibe in 1998. Director Rod Cohen revealed he was inspired by the article and subsequently watching races in LA. After that he convinced Universal to make the film and buy the rights from Li. Funny side note they also had to buy the film title rights from 1955s The Fast and The Furious, for the name. Probably for more then the 50k the movie was made for! Here is a link to the full article that inspired The Fast and The Furious
Movies from news articles is not something that is new. Film makers have been doing this for years with names like Argo, Boogie Nights, Dog Day Afternoon, Proof of Life, Radio, Saturday Night Fever, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Top Gun! A complete list of movies based on magazine articles can be found here.
The release of Furious 7 was highly anticipated after the tragic passing of Paul Walker in 2013 with fans wondering how they would finish or edit the movie without him. At that point they were only have way through filming. After some discussions it was decided that his brothers, Caleb and Cody, would be used as stand-ins and help finish the filming, as his co-actors and producers were adamant they would not “kill him off” in the film. After watching the movie twice, I am extremely happy on how it came out. While the parts where his brothers are playing him are noticeable, you find yourself not caring.
Furious 7 is the same crazy fast cars, high ocatne racing scenes, and unbelievable stunts, no really unbelievable stunts. Like jumping a Liken Hyper Sport between two skyscrapers! as all the other Furious films, yes you have new comers like Statham, Rousey, Russell and Black, But if it was not for the ending to this movie it would be the second worst in the serious behind Tokyo Drift, Sorry Lucas! They spent to much time in what I call “Drama Mode” when this movie series is about action and fast cars. While they did some cleaning up of the timeline and set the future up well with Kurt Russell, Rhonda Rousey who kicked some capital ASS, and returning actor Lucas Black from Tokyo Drift. Some of whom have signed on for more than one Furious film! it was the finish that makes it worth the price of admission and more, it is a beauty. The way they took everything into account and paid tribute is something that movie makers have been struggling with for years. Here they manged to accomplish it with great respect and dignity.