Why Fast X director brought the action back down to Earth for the beginning of the end

Why Fast X director brought the action back down to Earth for the beginning of the end

After literally going to space in F9, how could the Fast & Furious franchise possibly keep getting bigger?! That's the inherent problem Fast X director Louis Leterrier faced when he took the wheel of the saga.

"What could I do? Time travel?" Leterrier tells EW. "There's nothing I could have done that's bigger than that. There's no way. They went to space, so I was like, 'Let's bring it back to Earth.'"

Vin Diesel in 'Fast X'
Vin Diesel in 'Fast X'

Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures Vin Diesel in 'Fast X'

Instead of going bigger, Leterrier (who has also signed on to direct the upcoming 11th installment, which was previously said to be the final film in the saga) decided to take the franchise back to its roots. "I love the Fast & Furious movies with international espionage and going to space and everything, but that's not why I watch these movies," he says. "If I get to do a Fast & Furious movie, it's the one that brought back racing to the forefront. That's my legacy as a director, I wanted to bring cars back to the forefront of Fast & Furious."

Fast X stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, John Cena, Jason Statham, Sung Kang, Charlize Theron, and Helen Mirren. The film follows Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his "Fast family" as they face off against a new foe: Jason Momoa's Dante Reyes. As revealed in the trailer, the movie brings it all back to Fast Five as Dante is the son of Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), and he's ready to get revenge for his father's death at the hands of Dom.

This is still a Fast & Furious movie, so of course there are tons of high-octane action scenes that blur the lines between car chase and superhero battle throughout. What would this franchise be without a little NOS-fueled vehicular warfare, after all? But Leterrier also wanted to see Dom face off with Dante in a good, old-fashioned street race for one of the movie's biggest moments.

"That was so important to me," he says. "That was not in the script, it's something I added. I actually wanted a street race — I hadn't seen a street race for a while and I wanted the antagonist to be a driver, I wanted to see our actors behind the wheel, I wanted to create special cameras and rigs to fly through the cars like we've never seen before. I did all that stuff and that was my dream come true."

Fast X races into theaters this weekend.

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