Rumored for some time, leading man Vin Diesel confirmed today to The Hollywood Reporter that both a sixth and seventh film are being planned for the Fast and the Furious franchise.
“With the success of this last one,” he explains, “and the inclusion of so many characters, and the broadening of scope, when we were sitting down to figure out what would fit into the real estate of number six, we didn’t have enough space… We have to pay off this story. We have to service all of these character relationships, and when we started mapping all that out it just went beyond 110 pages. The studio said, ‘You can’t fit all that story in one damn movie!'”
Last year, when ComingSoon.net visited the set of Fast Five, Diesel was already setting his sights on a sixth film, which he envisioned as the end of a second trilogy.
“I’ve always had kind of an allergic reaction to taking a reactionary approach to a sequel,” he said of why he didn’t immediately return after the first film. “My gut feeling about sequels is that they should be premeditated. You should try to write a trilogy first or at least sketch out a trilogy if you have any faith in your film. You should think about where the film is going over a series of films… This is a trilogy… When I was thinking of this ‘Fast & Furious,’ I thought of it as three stories. The one that you saw, this one and the final one.”
Whether that planned finale is still the arc that both upcoming sequels will follow remains to be seen, but Universal is currently set to begin production on at least Fast & Furious 6 next year with Justin Lin back behind the wheel as director, aiming for a May 24, 2013 release. It is possible (and has been rumored) that both sequels will shoot back-to-back to take advantage of scheduling around the sizable ensemble cast.