Is The Fast & Furious Saga Finally Going Back To Street Racing?



  • The Fast & Furious franchise started with underground street racing and emotional connections, but later films veered towards confusing plots and over-the-top action scenes, disappointing fans.
  • Recent Fast franchise installments have shown a decrease in interest and positive reviews, indicating a need for a shift in plot direction.
  • The future of the franchise involves a return to the original street racing-involved plot and a simpler production approach, potentially bringing back the passion of classic F&F fans.

The Fast & Furious franchise has successfully brought street racing, custom cars, modded vehicles, and underground car culture to the mainstream and is a huge part of many enthusiasts’ upbringings, serving as the reason many young up-starts got into the “car game”. The adrenaline-pumping races and sweet rides are what initially drew attention. As the franchise progressed, the character arcs and emotional connections evolved, leaving audiences to make emotional connections of their own to the, at times, relatable characters.

With 11 current Fast Franchise films produced, the story has touched on just about every relevant scenario and plot point, including a few spin-offs. Still, Universal Studios isn’t ready to call it quits just yet. This has fans of the franchise worried, as, according to box office figures and general reviews, the last few installments weren’t up to snuff. As it stands, the Fast Franchise costs almost more to produce than they’re earning.

The lack of interest in the franchise can be attributed to a few factors. Chief among them, the insane plot directions, confusing timeline, and over-the-top action scenes. At some point, the production crew decided to up the ante, and not in a good way, as this new direction left many F&F fans feeling confused and flat-out annoyed with all the explosions and time hops. All that said, good news comes in the form of a reputable source revealing a shift in story direction from Mission Impossible with cars to the original street racing-involved plot.


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In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, including The Verge, including IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and The Fast & Furious Wiki.

The Start Of Many Obsessions

The first Fast & Furious film would come in 2001 and initially kick off the underground street racing fad. Though the first film, The Fast & The Furious, didn’t break any box office records, it did make more in revenue than it cost to produce. The first film also introduced audiences to characters that would go on to have an incredible impact on their lives.

The first film consisted of an illegal underground street racing crew that meets up at night to compete in curated circuit and sprint races for cash or pink slips. Though the film alludes to the streets being clear enough to race through, danger still persists, as there are still innocent civilians who could get injured or worse. Not to mention the addition of the police tracking their illegal activity – an activity that was prevalent from the very first scene – adds a layer of risk, further enticing audiences to invest in the subplots of the story.

The undercover police aspect and illegal business, other than street racing, would become a bigger part of the franchise later down the line. However, the first four installments of the Fast franchise remain true to the underground street racing culture and emotional connections, with a bit of larceny and racketeering here and there. Again, this era is where a lot of current car enthusiasts discovered their passion for automobiles, as the franchise continued to introduce a plethora of modded tuners and ridiculously inspiring rides.

The Fast & Furious Franchise Spawns Sequels And Spin-offs

Needless to say, the Fast franchise gained more traction around the world, even producing dubbed versions for foreign fans of the high-octane movies. And though the story only deviated from the main character’s story arcs once, in Tokyo Drift to be specific, the main focal points of the early franchise revolved around underground racing in the illegal underbelly of society. However, fans began to notice a shift in plot direction around the fifth installment, Fast Five, though it was well integrated into the story and not yet over-the-top.

The franchise kicked into high gear after the fifth film, seemingly spawning another installment to the franchise every other year. Despite losing a key member of the cast in real life during the filming of the seventh installment, Furious Seven, the production crew kept pushing forward. This ultimately soured some fan’s perception of the series, as the later plots felt flat, and the action scenes began to feel gimmicky.

The Fast & Furious Franchise Films

  • The Fast & The Furious
  • 2 Fast 2 Furious
  • Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift
  • Fast & Furious 4
  • Fast Five
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Furious 7
  • The Fate of The Furious (8)
  • Hobbs & Shaw
  • F9: The Fast Saga
  • Fast X

Where The Fast & Furious Started To Stray

As stated before, the fifth film installment is where the franchise took on a more action-packed spy movie approach, as opposed to the previously established street racing culture. The high-stakes espionage and impossible stunt sequences were definitely interesting and mind-blowing… at first. Around the time of the eighth installment, The Fate of The Furious, fans were very vocal about their distaste towards the franchise’s direction, with many disregarding any future releases due to the fantastical and largely detached plot line.

This doesn’t mean there weren’t any fans still loyal to the Fast franchise, as the movies still brought in enough revenue to keep the lights on. However, the revenue of the films following the eighth installment showed a clear decrease in interest and positive reviews. This didn’t stop Universal from spitting out three more installments, one being another spin-off called Hobbs & Shaw, which follows a plot involving characters that were introduced later in the franchise.

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Experts And Insiders Weigh In On The Current State Of The Fast Franchise

Needless to say, the last three installments failed to recapture the die-hard underground car culture enthusiasts. As of now, the Fast franchise is edging closer to becoming known more for the memes it has generated rather than the car culture it established in the early 2000s. An insider by the name of Jeff Sneider claims that Universal plans on going “back to basics”, which could mean a return to the high-octane street races and highly customized cars that are works of art.

Technical advisor of the Fast franchise, Craig Liberman, touches upon the possible shift in plot direction, stating that the franchise’s audiences have shifted to the younger generations, as “real” car aficionados don’t care for high-flying stunts. He also states that dialing back the action and returning to the original F&F format could prove successful.

Craig Liberman’s Experience With F&F

Craig is a key part of Fast & Furious history, as not only were his vehicles featured in the first film, but he also served as a technical advisor to Universal Studios. Craig helped procure the awesome rides, as well as curated all the vehicle’s mods, designs, and purposes throughout the early production of the Fast franchise. His experience is further reaching than the Fast franchise, though, boasting over 40 years in the automotive business.

His input on the direction of the Fast franchise is accurate, as he worked on the ground level of production and has seen the transformation firsthand. Craig highlights how the over-the-top stunts have taken center stage in the franchise’s most recent installments, whereas before, the modified cars and street racing held audiences’ attention. He goes on to mention insider details about the future creative direction of the franchise, which consists of reverting to the underground culture established in the early installments.

Jeff Sneider Reports A Change In Production Staff And Plot

As mentioned before, Hollywood insiders have been continuously reporting on the fluctuating state of the franchise. One of those insiders by the name of Jeff Sneider, of The InSneider fame, reports that not only has Universal enlisted the help of Zach Dean to work on the script, but the entire direction of the plot, as well as the budget, could receive major changes. To illustrate the latest installment, Fast X, had a budget of roughly $3.4M, whereas Fast 11’s projected budget will be little more than half of that.

This could mean a more bare-bones production and effect approach, which is what made the early Fast & Furious films popular. Once Dom Toretto and the company began jumping Lamborghini’s out of skyscrapers, many audiences felt the franchise lost touch with reality. A simple approach could mean more practical stunts and realistic effects, which could prove to be a major turn-on for classic F&F fans.

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The Future Of F&F

Neon Green Fast and the Furious Mitsubishi Eclipse

An eleventh installment has been confirmed, as F9 began the trilogy that will conclude the story of Dom Torreto and Co. The second part of the trilogy, Fast X, was released in 2023 to mostly poor reviews. Fast XI is set for release sometime in 2025, with reports of the production team and cast brainstorming possible endings that will both satisfy audiences and tie up any loose ends. This includes the character Brian O’Connor, portrayed by the late Paul Walker, concluding his storyline.

The late Walker passed away during the filming of the seventh installment, Furious 7, leaving his brothers to stand in for his unfinished scenes. Luckily, Cody and Caleb Walker’s appearances and talent closely resemble those of their brother, making for a heartfelt and captivating performance. In fact, Furious 7 is the highest-grossing installment in the entire franchise, earning more than $1.5B in revenue.

Fast XI Will Be The Last

Jeff Sneider reports that the eleventh installment will be the final movie in the franchise involving the main crew, i.e. Dom Toretto and Co., which is why the production team is looking to tie up plot lines. This is an especially difficult position, not only because of Paul Walker’s absence but because the franchise’s reputation has taken a beating, as has its popularity. The last four installments have each performed poorly at the box office, whittling down the audience with each release.

The “back to basics” approach could prove both budget-friendly and audience-friendly, as most fans are burnt out on explosions and spy movie-esque plots. This would also be a great way to end the 20-plus-year story of the Fast family, the way it all started. Talks of returning cast members have not been completely confirmed, aside from Vin Diesel, though most of the usual gang will likely show up. A special forgotten cast member from the early films, or even a returning performance from Cody Walker to tie up the Brian O’Conner story would be awesome and, if handled correctly, could prove to be one of the biggest moments in the entire franchise.


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