Universal offered Vin Diesel the opportunity to produce the way he wanted to develop the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
The proposal came around 2005, while Diesel was on vacation in the Dominican Republic, the actor revealed in an interview published on the Billboard magazine website.
“I was riding my bike on the Malecón and a boy came up who wanted to polish my shoes, but I had slippers”, he recalls.
The boy said, “Okay, buy one of my assorted CDs.”
Back in his hotel room, Diesel played the music on the CD and was shocked.
“It was not just crude. It was very organic”, he tells Billboard. Rap was already explosive. But this was something so fresh, it was taking influences from all kinds of music. ”
He was struck by the song “Bandoleros”, written by Puerto Rican Don Omar and performed with Tego Calderón, which brilliantly fuses Puerto Rican cuatro with reggaeton rhythms.
“I felt that it was written for Dom Toretto” (or Dominic Toretto, fictional character protagonist of the saga and Interpreted by Vin Diesel), he refers to in the Billboard publication.
“I was stuck,” says Diesel. “I thought, ‘Maybe it’s a sign. I’ll tell the studio, if they play this song, I’ll be back”.
Soon enough, “Los Bandoleros” was filming in a sequence of the last scene in 2006’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, just before Diesel makes a teaser cameo.
Vin Diesel has made his mark as the patriarch of street car racing in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, but the story he has starred in with this endearing character could soon come to an end.
Diesel said in an interview with The Associated Press that the “Fast and Furious” saga will conclude with two films that will be released after its ninth installment, “F9,” which opens in theaters on June 25th.
The actor pointed out that Universal Pictures wants to end the saga with two films, which could be released in 2023 and 2024.
“Every story deserves its own ending,” Diesel said during an interview about “F9” when asked about the future of the franchise. Despite the end of the saga, he said that the “Fast and Furious” cinematic universe will continue.
When Diesel told his daughter about the end of the franchise, she burst into tears.
“I know people will feel like it doesn’t have to end, but I think all good things come to an end”, she said. “There are reasons for an end, I think this franchise deserves it.”
Vin Diesel’s role
Diesel has played Dominic Toretto since the first movie “The Fast and Furious” in 2001. The films have become global box office hits and the last two premieres have generated more than 1 billion dollars in revenue.
Along with Diesel, the films have featured performances by Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, rapper Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, Jason Statham, and the late Paul Walker.
In 2019, Johnson and Statham starred in the first spinoff film in the franchise “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” which took No. 1 for ticket sales and grossed 180.8 million dollars in its world premiere.
Last year Universal postponed the premiere of “F9” due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new film brings back a fan favorite – played by Sung Kang – along with new cast members like John Cena, while literally taking a car into space. It is expected to be one of the big hits of the season.
Director Justin Lin said the idea to end the series came during a conversation with Diesel, who has played the lead role in all eight of the previous “Fast and Furious” films.
“We got together and Vin said, ‘I think we should think about closing the series now,” said Lin, who has directed five of the films in the franchise. Lin will direct the last two.
“The ninth is like the first movie in the final chapter,” said the director. “We’re reconfiguring everything, so the next two movies should close out this incredible journey for these characters.”
Diesel said the franchise has come a long way, but the end is finally in sight.
“This franchise was born out of the pavement, out of concrete”, he said. “The world supported this film that had to lose to get to a place where it has surpassed all these other franchises, but the franchise has a soul, and that soul must rest”.