Does this mean we’re on our way to a “Fast and Furious” cinematic universe? Our sister site Deadline is reporting exclusively that the blockbuster “Fast and the Furious” franchise, which already spans eight movies, is branching out with a spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.
It’s no wonder Universal wants to keep mining this franchise for all it’s worth because it’s worth quite a lot. The first film in the series was a hit when it opened in 2001, earning $144 million domestically and $207 million worldwide against a modest budget of $38 million. But in the 16 years since that initial success the series has exploded in worldwide popularity.
And the budgets have exploded with it. The latest film, “The Fate of the Furious,” which opened on April 14, reportedly cost $250 million to produce — more than the first film’s entire gross. However, it broke a record over the weekend when it debuted with $532 million at the worldwide box office — in three days! As of this writing it has already accumulated a total of $685 million in global ticket sales. So one imagines that the higher-ups at Universal would love to develop not only some “Fast” spinoffs, but maybe also a couple of “Fast” TV shows, some “Fast” podcasts and radio dramas, a few “Furious” web series, and then maybe a teen romance on Freeform.
Dwayne Johnson first joined the franchise as U.S. Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs in “Fast Five,” while Statham first appeared as rogue special forces assassin Deckard Shaw in “Furious 7,” after a cameo at the end of “Fast & Furious 6.” The new film will be written by the series’s chief writer Chris Morgan and bring the two tough guys into an unlikely alliance.
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