Paul Walker has been busy doing the rounds publicising his recent film 'Hours' and has let slip some concerns and causes for excitement with the upcoming 'Fast and Furious 7'. The production appears to be going smoothly with plenty of stills and behind the scenes images being released by the stars but Walker reveals in an interview with Collider that it has not all been plain sailing since production begun in September.
Walker has even spoken of leaving the franchise when director Justin Lin departed but eventually decided to remain due to his faith in new director James Wan. The seventh film in the franchise sees many of the stars return and they will now be joined by an ever expanding cast that includes Kurt Russell and Jason Statham.
Walker clearly cared a great deal for the director who had taken the franchise from its lowest to its highest grossing entry to date. Justin Lin had worked on the series for four films and Walker reveals that he 'passed on a crazy amount of money'. He recognises the desire for Lin to move on and the incredible contribution the director made to the franchise, including a huge chunk of his life. Walker states that 'directors are married to a project for so much longer than actors are. We'll go do three in the time it takes for a director to finish one'. It is tempting to wonder if Walker could have helped his old friend to remain on the franchise if he had really threatened to walk away himself. Perhaps if the cast had showed more signs of solidarity with Lin, then the film could have been pushed back and allowed Lin the preparation time to shoot 'Fast and Furious 7' more comfortably.
Walker also hints at the enormous pressure that new director James Wan would be faced with when tackling such a huge franchise film for the first time. He admits that he warned Wan about what it would be like by saying 'think of how many stars there are, how many producers, how much this represents to the studio, and the fan pressure'. 'Fast and Furious 6' was a huge hit for Universal and the franchise has fast become a very dependable cash cow for the studio. Walker claims that Wan didn't really know exactly what he was getting into and that Wan admitted 'I really believed I was gonna have more freedom and get to do more stuff on this than I did on the smaller movies, but it's just the opposite'.
One of the major reasons for Lin jumping ship to be replaced by Wan was that the time between finishing 'Fast and Furious 6' and starting 'Fast and Furious 7' would not be enough to prepare properly. Walker confirms that 'there wasn't nearly enough time for prep. We got it going way too fast, like we always do'. However he also praises James Wan for his skill behind the wheel of such a gigantic franchise. He says 'there are times where he was barely able to keep up with it because it was moving so quick, but you'd never know it because he won't reveal it. He's a little ninja. He's a little assassin warrior'. As for those crucial action elements in the latest film, Walker admits that Wan 'hasn't done as much of it... but he figures it out really quick. I couldn't do what he's doing right now. I've been around it a long time, and I couldn't do it.'
Walker also confirms that there will definitely be at least one more 'Fast and Furious' movie after the seventh. He says 'the studio supposedly wants 8, 9 and 10. I'll be 50. Even if 7 were to [tank], there's at least an 8. That's a guarantee.' For any fans of the franchise, provided James Wan and his stars do a good job with 'Fast and Furious 7' that will be something akin to the sound of screeching tyres in their ears.
Do you think James Wan has what it takes to steer the franchise to continued success?
Pete is a cautious fan of the Fast and Furious films; enjoying the fast cars and furious fights but not so keen on the cheesy dialogue. However he's not going to be telling Vin Diesel that last bit any time in a hurry. Follow Pete on Twitter or check out his film and TV blog: I Love That Film.
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