Things You Never Knew About The Fast And Furious Films

By Nick Hadji 10 months ago

1. Universal wanted Timothy Olyphant originally to play Dominic Toretto ....

Image source Universal PicturesFirst choice to play Dominic Toretto was Timothy Olyphant and they were desperate to cast him.  When he declined, doubts crept into the writers' and producer's minds as they didn't think anyone else could come up to Timothy's charisma but they need not have worried!Original content sourced from Femanin.com

2. The first film in the franchise was supposed to be called 'Redline' ....

Image source Getty ImagesBefore the name 'Fast and Furious' was decided upon, it was called 'Redline', being pitched as a film about street racing.  Other titles in the running were 'Race Wars', 'Street Wars' and 'Racer X', according to Jordana Brewster who played Mia Toretto.  All were dismissed as being a bit too cheesy!

3. The film is based on a 1998 magazine article called Racer X ....

Image source Pocket-lintThe Fast and the Furious was inspired by Kenneth Li's 1998 article in Vibe which was entitled 'Racer X' which was about Rafael Estevez, a Dominican street racer who started drag racing.  Li told Entertainment Weekly that he thought the call from universal was a prank!

4. Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez didn't even have drivers' licenses before the first film!

Image source Getty ImagesOn the 2001 film's special features, the stunt coordinator Mic Rodgers had an issue in that neither Brewster nor Rodriguez could drive so they both had to take a crash course (!) so they could get their driving license.  said both Brewster and Rodriguez didn't have licenses before filming.  Jordana Brewster used to take the subway, taxis  or a bus to get around.

5. Minka Kelly is uncredited in the 'Fast' family ....

Image source Universal PicturesYou may have seen all of the 'Fast and Furious' films but did you know there are also two additional short films in the franchise.  In one of them, Kelly appears in a bonus feature named 'The Turbo Charged Prelude for 2 Fast 2 Furious,' included on the home release of the first move.  The 6 minute film sees Kelly help Brian Conner evade the cops on his journey to Miami.

6. Vin Diesel directed short film for the franchise, 'Los Bandoleros' .... where Letty and Dom get married ....

Image source Getty ImagesThis 20 minute prologue feels like two small episodes! The first half shows Dom hiding out with family in the Dominican Republic.  Han (Sung Kang) from 'Tokyo Drift', arrives and sees that he's never been to Japan at that point. Han had always said he met Dom in Mexico so it becomes clear that this movie takes place a bit in the past.  The second part focuses on Dom's relationship with Letty.

7. Vin Diesel turned down over $20 million for '2 Fast 2 Furious' ....

Image source Universal PicturesVin Diesel TURNED DOWN a massive fee for '2 Fast' so he could work on the sequel of his original film 'Pitch Black' which was called 'The Chronicles of Riddick'.  His agents and managers said he was mad not to do it especially as he received $50,000 for 'Chronicles' but he never had any regrets.

8. Chrissy Teigen's brief appearance in 'Tokyo Drift' you probably missed ....

Image source Getty ImagesIn April 2020, Chrissy Teigen shared on Twitter that she had a cameo albeit tiny. in 'Tokyo Drift.'  De reported that she was picked out of a crowd in Los Angeles, California, to be a girl getting out of a car.  She tweeted, 'My boobs are in fast and the furious Tokyo drift'.  She had to sit on the floor with 200 people i a parking garage and she was selected for the brief scene

9. Ja Rule turned down $500,000 for lead role in '2 Fast 2 Furious' ....

Image source Universal Pictures''2 Fast 2 Furious' director, John Singleton was reported to have said that Ja Rule 'got too big for himself', turning down the role right after Vin Diesel also refused to be in the sequel.  As a result, Ludacris was approached, a humble actor who was delighted to accept - and the rest is history!

10. Franchise nearly went straight to DVD after 'Tokyo Drift' .... until idea from screenwriter Chris Morgan ....

Image source Getty ImagesApparently, the franchise stalled creatively after the second film in the series, '2Fast 2 Furious.'  Co President, Jeffrey Kirschenbaum said they were weighing up whether to go straight to home movies for any future sequels.  Getting Vin Diesel back on board to the franchise was not a simple task!

11. Alternative ending to the first film with Brian and Mia that Brewster didn't remember ....

Image source Universal PicturesA two minute alternative ending to the 2001 film appears as a bonus feature on the home release's extras. In the scene, Brian quits as a cop and gets dropped off at the Toretto household by his former boss in order to patch things up with Mia. The Toretto house is up for sale and Mia is seen packing up the garage, her trust in Brian visibly shaken.  Brian tells her that he wants another chance with her.  Miss Brewster couldn't remember shooting it!

12. Vin Diesel only appeared in 'Tokyo Drift' for the rights to his 'Riddick' franchise ....

Image source Getty ImagesDiesel wasn't paid for 'Tokyo Drift'.  Instead he plumped for the rights to his 'Riddick' franchise.  After the public's response to Diesel's cameo, which was amazing, the studio agreed to hand over a substantial amount of the creative control to the actor.

13. Director Justin Lin's son shows up in 'Fast Five' and 'Fast 6' ....

Image source Getty ImagesOqwe Lin played the kid on the bus who was looking at the bank heist in Rio, right at the end of 'Fast Five.'  He can also be spotted on the bus in London where he watches Dom ad Letty race by.  These things can be made to happen when your dad is the director!

14. The Rock was Lin's first choice to play Luke Hobbs ....

Image source Universal PicturesThe Rock was the first choice and they weren't sure if they were able to get him.  It was thought that The Rock and Vin Diesel together would make a great movie!  Lin remarked that it was like seeing Stallone and Schwarzenegger together in the eighties - a pinch me moment!

15. Chris Hemsworth stayed around set of 2011's 'Fast Five' .... because his wife, Elsa Pataky, played Elena ....

Image source Universal PicturesPataky and Hemsworth have been married for 12 years and have three children together.  During shooting of the movie, Chris often hung around the set, very proud of his other half.  It was a big thing for the crew as he was starring in 'Thor' in the same year.

16. Before death of Paul Walker, original ending to 'Furious 7' would have been on happier note ....

Image source Universal PicturesProduction on 'Furious 7' was shut down after Paul Walker's death in 2013.  When they returned, the entire third act had to be re-written, a very sad time.  Screen writer, Chris Morgan, changed the concept to show what really matters in life which is family.

17. It was Charlize Theron's idea for dreadlocks in 'The Fate of the Furious' ....

Image source Getty Images'Fate' director F. Gary Gray said said that Theron 'had some thoughts about how she wanted to shape her character.'  She mentioned about trying dreads and they weren't sure at first but once the stylist got to work on them, everyone agreed it was a great decision.

18. Lin's son helped come up with idea for  'magnet plane' in 'F9' ....

Image source Getty ImagesJustin Lin says his 9 year-old son Oqwe figured out the 'magnet car' stunt in the trailer for 'F9'. Lin was at a meeting and Oqwe was playing with his toy cars when he got an idea. Lin told Empire, 'Oqwe just picked it up and pitched the idea of the plane and everything.'

19. Vin Diesel convinced Justin Lin to return for the final 'Fast' trilogy ....

Image source Universal PicturesLin, who previously directed 4 films in the franchise, didn't plan on coming back after 2013's 'Fast 6' but when he heard the idea for 'F9,' he was back up for it  and said Diesel wouldn't let him go!  Lin said once he signed on for 'F9,' Diesel wouldn't let him go.

20. They considered splitting 'Fast 6' into two movies ... 'The Fast' and 'The Furious' ....

Image source Getty ImagesAccording to director Justin Lin's original plan, the final two films in the franchise were to be named 'the Fast' and The Furious'.  The sequence with the plane and the giant never ending runway was considered for the end of 'Fast 5'.  Luckily that was not to be the case.

21. Tommy Lee Jones was in final line up to play Hobbs ....

Image source TwitterVin Diesel had really wanted Tommy Lee Jones to play Dom's government adversary, Hobbs in 'Fast 5'.  It was initially a role similar to the one he played in 'The Fugitive'.  However, Dwaine Johnson was brought in which was a massive deal for the whole team as The Rock was huge in popularity.

22. David Tennant could have been a baddie ...

Image sourceAccording to mythical legend, Dom and his crew could have faced off against a different bunch of British bad guys in 'Fast and Furious 6'.  Doctor Who actor, David Tennant, was wanted for the part of villain Owen Shaw.  It went to Welshman Luke Evans in the end, a great choice as it happens!

23.Dwayne Johnson's ribbing of Tyrese Gibson was real ...

Image source RedditTowards the end of the sixth movie, Hobbs arrives at Dom's barbeque and is quick to mock Tyrese Gibson's, Roman's shiny forehead.  Not only was it a great line but Dwaine ad-libbed - luckily Tyrese managed not to corpse himself (start laughing) to keep the moment alive!

24. The Rock watches himself play football while in hospital ...

Image source Universal PicturesHobbs is recovering in hospital and can be seen watching a college football game in 'Furious 7'.  The game featured the University of Miami and the reference by the commentator of 'number 94' was actually footage of Dwayne Johnson from when he, himself, played college football for the University of Miami, wearing the jersey number 94!

25. Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) was meant to appear in 'Furious 7' ....

Image source Harper's BazaarGal Gadot was best known for playing crew member Gisele in the 'Fast and Furious' movies before she was 'Wonder Woman'.  Her character died in the 6th movie although she did film a scene for '7'.  This was a flashback sequence where Letty tried to piece things together after losing her memory.  The scene was cut but she still appeared in the credits.

26. The first film featured its share of racing inaccuracies!

Image source Universal PicturesThe first street race scene is supposed to be a quarter mile race, taking about 10 seconds. However, the race takes almost two minutes of screen time and shows the vehicles driving over 150 mph which is even faster than a 1,200 hp Bugatti Veyron!  Did anyone spot that?

27. The iconic Jetta in the first film was bought by famous child star ....

Image source Universal PicturesThe Volkswagen Jetta supercar that Jesse drives in the movie was later purchased by Frankie Muniz although he sold it in 2015 for an undisclosed amount His interest in the vehicle was obvious as he became a professional driver and street racing enthusiast.

28. Vin Diesel gave his character's red Chevelle to his daughter ....

Image source Universal PicturesVin Diesel's character, Dominic Toretto, is seen at the end of Fast and Furious driving off in a red 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS454 Coupe.  When the character returns in the 2009 film, the vehicle re-appears.  Diesel told MT News that he had given the car to his daughter while filming.

29. Fast and Furious 6 - No Words ....

Image source QuoraThe characters Letty (Rodriguez) and Brian (Walker) don’t actually speak directly to each other until near the end of the film in 'Fast and Furious 6'.  Brian apologies to Letty an she says, 'I may not remember anything, but I do know one thing. Nobody makes me do anything I don’t want.'

30. First Film - director got crew painting!

Image source Universal PicturesThe first film’s director Rob Cohen got his crew busy before filming by having them re-paint the houses in Echo Park where the Toretto house was located.   It was thought that by having dull backdrops, the brightness of the cars could be the main focus.  Nice one!

31. The Franchise Is The 6th Highest Grossest Of All Time

Image Source / Arise NewsThe entire franchise so far has made over 5 billion dollars, and ranks as the sixth-highest grossing film series of all time! When you consider the fact that it's not far behind other iconic franchises like Marvel, it's done quite well for itself, to say the least!

32. All The Films Fit Together In A Weird Way

Image Source / Pocket-lintTo get the best out of this huge franchise, you shouldn't actually watch the films in release order. There's an internal trilogy within the whole thing, a few shorts and a very confusing order. The best way to watch is: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 3, 7, 8, Hobbs and Shaw then 9!

33. The West Side Story Comparison

Image Source / TCMWest Side Story reveals the Romeo and Juliet tale of two people involved in street gangs, and the Fast and Furious franchise was apparently pitched with this in mind - described as being like West Side Story, but "with cars instead of singing" (which we're grateful for).

34. The Car Chase From The First Movie Was Inspired By Bullitt

Image Source / DrivingLineThe car chase in the 1968 movie Bullitt is a classic example of cinema, and the car chase from the first film (the one that appears near the end) was actually inspired by the Bullitt sequence, according to direct Rob Cohen.

35. And Speaking Of Bullitt... It Was One Of The Reasons Paul Walker Was Cast

Image Source / ABC NewsThe legendary star of the movie Bullitt was Steve McQueen, and apparently Paul Walker was cast by director Rob Cohen because he thought he looked like the blonde movie star! McQueen was a cinema legend known as the King of Cool.

36. But It Also Has A Connection To Another Movie: Point Break

Image Source / WikipediaPoint Break is another legendary piece of cinema, starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. The Fast and the Furious has been compared to this movie due to a couple of similarities, including the fact that both movies have scenes shot in a restaurant in Malibu called Neptune's Net.

37. Extras Were Brought In From Real Illegal Street Races

Image Source / The GuardianEver the authentic director, Rob Cohen would go to real life illegal street races in order to find accurate portrayals for the first film in the franchise. He also had over 200 racing cars driven by actual real-life street racers participate in the movie's racing sequences.

38. 2 Fast 2 Furious Had A Backup Script

Image Source / Empire OnlineFor 2 Fast 2 Furious, there was some uncertainty about whether the first film's star Vin Diesel would return. For this reason, two completely different scripts - one with family-loving Dom and one without - were commissioned in case the actor decided not to return.

39. Paul Walker Used His Own Car For One Of The Films

Image Source / The Fast and the Furious Wiki - FandomDuring the time of filming the franchise, Paul Walker was a car enthusiast in real life, too. So much so that the Skyline GT-R which appeared in 2 Fast 2 Furious was actually Walker's own car. He would also help pick and choose other cars for the film.

40. The Drift Racing In Tokyo Drift Was Real

Image Source / IMDbDrift racing became highly popular in Japan, so it's no surprise that some drifting shown in a movie set there would actually be real. Stunt racers actually performed the drift racing from the movie, which means it was a highly risky sequence to film!

41. Tokyo Does Not Allow For Filming Permits - But The Movie Was Shot In Tokyo Anyway

Image Source / www.asahi.comTokyo doesn't grant filming permits, so with the choice being made that Tokyo Drift would be shot on location came a lot of trouble. Footage of Lucas Black walking in general public had to be done sneakily, and there were occasions where the police got involved!

42. There Was A Cameo From A Real-Life 'Drift King'

Image Source / World Time AttackThe Drift King in Tokyo Drift is played by actor Brian Tee, and not a real-life drift expert. But that doesn't mean there wasn't one in the movie - real life drift king Keiichi Tsuchiya, who is a racing legend in Japan, made a cameo in the film as the fisherman who mocks someone learning how to drift. Well, if anyone is allowed to mock, it's him!

43. Tokyo Drift Went Through Approximately 2,000 Tires

Image Source / Entertainment WeeklyThe drifting sequences in Tokyo Drift required cars to be converted to rear-wheel drive to get the drift they wanted, including the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO III. Around 4,000 tires were actually donated to the movie by Toyota, even though production only ended up using half of that.

44. An Entire Train Plus Train Tracks Was Purchased For Fast Five

Image Source / AutoEvolutionIn Fast Five, you may remember a certain train sequence - well, production actually bought the train tracks, located in Arizona and amounting to around 600 years, as well as a whole train so that they could destroy it for the movie. And that scene alone cost $25 million to complete!

45. The Franchise Was Shifted To A 'Heist' Focus - For Good Reason

Image Source / The Fast and the Furious Wiki - FandomWith a franchise first focused on street racing and flash cars, it's no surprise you might hit a brick wall after a few movies - after all, you can't keep making the same movie over and over again about cars racing. So the director decided to switch direction and give the franchise a more 'heist' feel with new storylines.

46. Michelle Rodriquez Didn't Know Letty Survived

Image Source / WhatCulture.comFor Fast Five, some key plot details were kept secret - including the fate of Letty. Even the actress herself, Michelle Rodriquez, didn't know that Letty had survived the previous film - and she only found out when she saw the post-credit scene of Fast Five.

47. The Runway Scene In Fast & Furious 6 Had Many People Scratching Their Heads

Image Source / FXGuideNot in a bad way, just from pure awe and a need to work out how much runway you'd even need for so much action to be possible. To achieve what the film portrayed, it was calculated that around 28.8 miles of runway would be needed, when the longest in the world is only 3.4 miles!

48. 300 Stunt Cars Were Used For Fast & Furious 6

Image Source / Roger EbertIt's no surprise that a movie franchise about street racing and heist cars would go through A LOT of stunt vehicles. Fast & Furious 6 alone went through 300 stunt cars during the movie's filming, and there were also two working tanks that were used!

49. The Fast And The Furious Franchise And Herbie Fully-Loaded Exist In The Same Universe

Image Source / WhatCulture.comTechnically these two major car movies exist in the same cinematic universe, and in the junkyard shown in the Disney movie with Lindsay Lohan, you can actually see Dom Toretto's 1970 black Dodge charger. It was trashed during the movie's filming and ended up in - you guessed it - the junkyard in Herbie!

50. The Han Solo Easter Egg

Image Source / WikipediaStar Wars and Fast and Furious fans unite, because there's a Han Solo Easter egg you may not have known about! The character of Han in FaF doesn't mention his surname until we see it on a computer screen in Fast Five. And what's his last name? Seoul-Oh.

Here are things you didn't know about the James Bond films - Quantum of Solace - and pain .....

Image source Macleans.caWhile filming 'Quantum of Solace' Daniel Craig was not permitted a break, due to filming deadlines. When a stunt he undertook himself saw him lose the tip of a finger, need 4 stitches in his face and have 6 screws surgically inserted into his shoulder, he had to get back in front of the camera straight afterwards!

2. Cary Grant had doubts ....

Image source WikipediaSome of the most famous names up for Bond didn't make the cut although Cary Grant, the Hollywood icon, was offered the lead.  Ian Fleming was desperate for him to accept but the actor turned the role down as it thought he'd be too old to pull it off.  Things could have been so different!

3. The scariest of  Bond girls ....pow!

Image source Film FanMichelle Yeoh’s Wai Lin is one of the most beloved Bond girls in the franchise’s history and that is for a reason.  She was such a skilled martial arts fighter that the film crew for 'Tomorrow Never Dies' had to call in Jackie Chan’s stunt team to be her sparring partners.  Every one else was too scared to fight her!

4. From Russia with so much more love ....

Image source RedditThe actor who played Bond’s ally, Kerim Bey, played by Pedro Armendariz, was actually dying while shooting the movie.  As he became weaker, Terence Young had to step in and act as his body double.  Barely a month after the final scene was shot, Armendariz committed suicide, rather than wait for the cancer to take him.

5. Holocaust reminder for Gert Frobe

Image source flickr.comIn 'Goldfinger', the villain is supposed to use nerve gas to murder anyone who witnesses his crimes. Gert Frobe, who played the character, detested this part of the movie as he had been part of the Nazi party, when he was younger, working in the concentration camps.  Years later a Jewish family spoke out to say Frobe had actually protected them during the Holocaust.

6. 007 caught unaware .....

Image source The RingerPoor Sean Connery was hounded by the press relentlessly during his time as Bond.  He was followed everywhere he went despite several disguises and was totally horrified when  a Japanese newspaper published a photo of the Scottish actor while he was using the toilet!

7. Too old for romance ....

Image source The GuardianRoger Moore’s final goodbye as Bond didn't exactly go down in history as a favourite of the fans.  Moore admitted that he shouldn't have made that last movie at the age of 57.  He learned that his love interest in the film had a mother who was younger than Bond.  Awkward.

8. Two timing Connery - Naughty!

Image source Daily MailSean Connery overstepped the mark when making 'Diamonds are Forever'.  His playboy qualities spilled into his real life world and he dated two of the Bond girls at the same time, Jill St. John and Lana Wood.  When they found out about each other, having both fallen for Connery, they dumped him!

9. Dalton in cliff hanger!

Image source FourSquareTimothy Dalton was almost a 'gonner' while shooting 'Licence to Kill'.  The film crew blocked off the famous La Rumorosa Road so Dalton could drive through the twists and turns of the road, without worrying about going over the edge of the cliff!  It didn't go quite to plan when he took a wrong turning, towards the cliff.  That was a hairy moment.

10. An eye for romance ....

Image source The Guardian NigeriaHalle Berry was in the middle of a love scene when playing Bond girl Jinx when some debris flew right into her eye and she actually had to undergo surgery to remove it.  As if that wasn't bad enough, she also almost choked on a fig and Brosnan had to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre.  Bond movies are dangerous!

11. That's Shneaky ....

Image source Critical HitIn 'Dr No', the production team came up with an ingenious hack to make Sean Connery's character look as imposing as possible.  They scaled all the sets and props to be smaller than usual and this made James Bond look huge and intimidating.  It did the trick and worked!

12. Ian Fleming's real life Bond girl

Image source www.ianfleming.comAccording to The Times, Ian Fleming chose tough, glamorous women as they were loosely based on his own life.  Like Bond, there was never a happy ending.  Fleming was deeply in love with a wealthy model and athlete, Muriel Wright. t She died in an air raid 10 years after they met and she was only 36 years old.

13. Swimming with dead bodies ....

Image source Daily StarWhile filming 'The Man with the Golden Gun', Roger Moore fell into the Klong waterways in Bangkok.  When he opened his eyes, he saw he was in an underwater grave yard!  Apparently, the city’s undertakers would regularly dump bodies into the Klongs!  Mr Moore was surrounded by corpses.

14. Fact or fiction?

Image source IMDbRobert Davi portrayed a drug Bond villain in 'Licence to Kill' and one day fiction crossed over into reality.  A group of men abducted Davi and delivered him to a real South American drug lord.  Davi was absolutely terrified until the gang admitted it was a stitch up!

15. George Lazenby the diva!

Image source Hindustan TimesGeorge Lazenby had been a top model when he was scouted to play Bond and 'bigged' himself up so much that he became disliked by all the cast and back room team.  He started acting like a diva even though it was his first acting role.  His co-star, the late Diana Rigg, described him as bloody impossible'!

16. Hush - It's a secret ....

Image source TCMIn 'The Spy Who Loved Me', the cinematographer started experiencing issues with his eye sight half way through filming so ....Stanley Kubrick stepped in!  The famous director controlled the lighting for the movie but insisted on keeping his contribution top secret.  Respect to the man.

17. No sweat for Michael Gambon (Dumbledore)

Image source TwitterAfter George Lazenby refused to star in further Bond movies, the studio approached  Adam West (tv’s Batman) and Burt Reynolds.  Both had to turn down the roles due to scheduling issues.  Michael Gambon (Dumbledore in Harry Potter) declined on account of being 'in terrible shape, with man boobs and a belly'.  He didn't want to work out at the gym to buff up.

18. Sean Connery being awkward ....

Image source Dallas Morning NewsWhile shooting 'You Only Live Twice', Sean Connery didn't get on at all well with the producers and would refuse to get into character when they were around.  It got so bad on set that the studio announced it would be Connery's last Bond movie - he did actually return one more time.

19. Elvis was a huge fan

Image source SpindittyWhen the great man Elvis saw 'The Spy Who Loved Me' on 10th August 1977 during a special viewing held at the General Cinema in Whitehaven, Tenn, he raved about it.  The sad thing is that it was the film buff's final public outing as he passed away 6 days later, aged 42.

20.  More gold in Goldfinger

Image source Messy Nessy ChicDuring the making of 'Goldfinger', the villain causes the death of a woman through suffocation, by painting her whole body in gold paint and not allowing oxygen to breathe through the pores of the skin.  Even though this was known to never happen in real life, a 6 inch patch of the actress' stomach was left unpainted, just in case!