Furious 7 (also known as Fast & Furious 7) is a 2015 action film directed by James Wan and written by Chris Morgan. It is the sequel to Fast & Furious 6 (2013) and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), and the seventh installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. The film stars an ensemble cast including Vin Diesel, Paul Walker (in his final film role), Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, and Nathalie Emmanuel. In the film, Dominic Toretto (Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Walker), and their team are recruited by covert ops leader Mr. Nobody (Russell) to prevent terrorist Mose Jakande (Hounsou) from obtaining a hacking program. Meanwhile, Deckard Shaw (Statham), a former special forces soldier seeking to avenge his comatose younger brother, puts the team in danger once again.
Plans for a seventh installment were first announced in February 2012 when Johnson stated that production on the film would begin after the completion of Fast & Furious 6. In April 2013, Wan, predominantly known for horror films, was announced to direct the film. Casting showed the returns of Diesel and Walker that same month. Principal photography began that September in Atlanta, but was indefinitely suspended in November after Walker died in a car crash; filming resumed in April 2014 and ended in July, with Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody standing-in to complete his remaining scenes, causing delay to its 2015 release date, with other filming locations including Los Angeles, Colorado, Abu Dhabi, and Tokyo. Brian Tyler, who had last composed the score for Fast Five (2011), returned to compose the seventh installment. With an estimated production budget of up to $250 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made.
Furious 7 premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on April 1, 2015, and was released in the United States on April 3, by Universal Pictures. The film was a box office success and it received positive reviews from critics for its action sequences and emotional tribute to Walker, with many considering it to be the best film in the franchise. It grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the third-highest-grossing film of 2015 and the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time at the time of release. It also set a record for the second-highest opening weekend of its time, grossing $397.6 million worldwide. It was the highest grossing film of 2015 out of the domestic box office and became the highest-grossing film of the franchise in the first twelve days of its theatrical release. A sequel, The Fate of the Furious, was released in April 2017.
On October 21, 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that Universal Studios was considering filming two sequels—Fast Six and Fast Seven—back-to-back with a single storyline running through both films. Both would be written by Chris Morgan and directed by Justin Lin, who had been the franchise’s writer and director, respectively, since The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006). On December 20, 2011, following the release of Fast Five (2011), Vin Diesel stated that Fast Six would be split into two parts, with writing for the two films occurring simultaneously. On the decision, Diesel said:
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!’
However, in an interview on February 15, 2012, Dwayne Johnson stated that the two intended sequels would no longer be filmed simultaneously because of weather issues in filming locations, and that production on Fast Seven would only begin after the completion of Fast Six.
In April 2013, during the post-production of the retitled Fast & Furious 6, Lin announced that he would not return to direct the seventh film, as the studio wanted to produce the film on an accelerated scheduled for release in summer 2014. This would have required Lin to begin pre-production on the sequel while performing post-production on Fast & Furious 6, which he considered would affect the quality of the final product. Despite the usual two-year gap between the previous installments, Universal chose to pursue a sequel quicker due to having fewer reliable franchises than its competitor studios. However, subsequent interviews with Lin have suggested that the sixth film was always intended to be the final installment under his direction.
In April 2013, Australian director James Wan, predominantly known for horror films, was announced as the sequel’s director, with Neal H. Moritz and Michael Fottrell returning to produce and Morgan returning to write the script, his fifth in the franchise. On April 16, 2013, Diesel announced that the sequel would be released on July 11, 2014. In May 2013, Diesel said that the sequel would feature Los Angeles, Tokyo, and the Middle East as locations.
- Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto: A former criminal, professional street racer and millionaire who has retired and settled down with his wife, Letty.
- Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner: A former LAPD police officer and FBI agent turned criminal who has retired and settled down with his wife, Mia, and their son, Jack. This was Walker’s final Fast and Furious film, as well as his final film appearance before his death in November 2013.
- Caleb and Cody Walker, Paul’s younger brothers, were used as stand-ins to complete his remaining scenes following their brother’s death.
- Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs: A DSS agent who allied with Dom and his team after their outings in Rio de Janeiro and Europe. Johnson initially said that if Universal Pictures pursued the accelerated development of a seventh film beginning in the summer, he would be unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts with filming on Hercules (2014). However, as production for Furious 7 would commence in September, Johnson confirmed his return, for Hercules would complete production in time to enable him to sign the 7th film.
- Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz-Toretto: Dom’s wife and a professional street racer, who was revealed to have suffered from amnesia after being presumed dead in Fast & Furious (2009).
- Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce: A former criminal and childhood friend of Brian from Barstow, and a member of Dom’s team.
- Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as Tej Parker: A mechanic from Miami and a member of Dom’s team.
- Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto: Dom’s sister and a former member of his team who has settled down with her husband, Brian, and their son, Jack.
- Djimon Hounsou as Mose Jakande: A Nigerian-born mercenary and terrorist who leads a private military company that allies with Shaw, and uses God’s Eye to track its creator, and uses her to track down his enemies.
- Tony Jaa as Kiet: A member of Jakande’s team who possesses great agility, athleticism, and fighting prowess. Thai martial arts actor Jaa was confirmed to have joined the cast in August 2013, making his Hollywood debut.
- Ronda Rousey as Kara: The Head of Security for an Abu Dhabi billionaire. Rousey’s involvement was confirmed in August 2013. Having committed to The Expendables 3 (2014) at the same time, Rousey was forced to shoot both films back-to-back in order to allow herself 45 days to focus on training for her UFC championship rematch against Miesha Tate. Her participation in the film was similar to that of Gina Carano making the transition from mixed martial arts fighting to acting, following Carano’s involvement in Fast & Furious 6 (2013).
- Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey: A British computer hacktivist and the creator of the God’s Eye, who allies with Dom and his team after being saved from Jakande and helps them to regain control of her program.
- Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody: The leader of a covert ops team who agrees to help Dom stop Shaw if he can help him prevent Jakande from obtaining a computer program called the God’s Eye.
- Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw: A former special forces soldier and intelligence agent who seeks to avenge his comatose younger brother after his hospitalization at the hands of Dom and his team in Spain.
April 3, 2015
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