This is interesting news. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker have decided that together they’re gold at the box office, but separately they’re, well, not so much gold, which may be why the dynamic duo are re-teaming for the fourth installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise. Also according to the trade, Justin Lin and Chris Morgan are also returning as director and writer, respectively, having previously helmed the previous installment, “Tokyo Drift”. This kinda confirmation (THR says the acting duo are in negotiations to return) would seem to indicate that the Powers That Be are fast-tracking “Furious 4” to beat the strike.
Neal Moritz will produce the as-yet-untitled installment along with Diesel, who will produce through his One Race Films banner.
The story line is being kept under wraps, but fast cars are involved. A spring start is anticipated with shooting in Los Angeles, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
The first “Furious,” released in 2001, was a surprise hit, grossing more than $144 million and creating a franchise for the studio while making stars our of Diesel and Walker. Only Walker returned for the sequel, “2 Fast 2 Furious,” and sat out the third installment, 2005’s “Tokyo Drift.” That movie had relative newcomer Lucas Black in the driver’s seat but did feature Diesel in a cameo at the end of the movie. His appearance was so well received that it was even mentioned in ads.
I guess no one is surprised that Vin Diesel is returning to the series. He did make a cameo at the end of part three, after all, and why would he do that if he wasn’t already willing to come back? Walker, on the other hand — well, Walker is a piece of drift wood. You can put anyone in his place and you wouldn’t actually have any drop in acting talent.