Sometimes it really does seem like there’s no end to the success and scope of the Fast & Furious franchise. Many who saw and enjoyed the original never dreamed it had franchise potential, and when Vin Diesel didn’t return for 2 Fast 2 Furious it looked like things will fizzle out. Years down the line – once it had become a shockingly successful series already – the tragic death of Paul Walker seemed to signal what ought to have been an end to the series. However, a beautiful tribute to Walker at the end of Furious 7 only seemed to bring the franchise to a new level, and it’s now slated for at least two more films.
Even outside of film releases, the series has begun to have a James Bond-like impact on entertainment and pop culture. For instance, for the last few films we’ve looked forward to new villains, played by the likes of Luke Evans, Jason Statham (both of whom later joined the good guys) and, most recently, Charlize Theron. We’ve seen the series promote musicians like Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, not to mention Ludacris (who also stars as a regular supporting character). And needless to say, vehicles from vintage muscle cars to the latest sport and luxury vehicles have received significant airtime.
From more of a fan experience standpoint, the series has also produced numerous video games by this point. Fast & Furious Showdown came out for top consoles in 2013, and numerous mobile titles have come out alongside specific film releases. We’ve even seen a slot game online called Drive: Multiplayer Mayhem invoke the franchise despite having no specific licensing agreement. Its own description mentions that it is “inspired by the shamelessly successful Fast and the Furious film franchise.” That can certainly give you some idea of how widespread the impact of this series has gotten.
With its next trick, however, the Fast & Furious empire is stepping up beyond the role of impactful action series, and entering the realm of the likes of Star Wars, Avatar, or even Harry Potter. Recent reports have indicated that a long-rumored Fast & Furious live attraction is “ready to race into Universal Studios” in the near future. Dubbed Fast & Furious – Supercharged, it’s an interactive experience with cinematic elements. By the sound of things it will almost be set up as a sort of museum, featuring actual cars from the series and an “after party” with the Fast family. However, as batches of guests load into a “party bus” (commissioned by the character Tej (Ludacris)), they’ll get a call from Dominic Toretto (Diesel) saying danger’s on the way. Thus, the party bus is sent on a ride, during which characters from t he film zoom in and out of action all around. All of the main actors from the series actually filmed original action sequences to help create the experience.
Okay – perhaps saying it’s on the same level as Avatar and Harry Potter is a touch dramatic given that those properties have their own “worlds” in Florida theme parks. But the Fast & Furious live experience certainly represents the ever-increasing global popularity of this series, and should be an incredible ride for fans. With multiple films still on the way, there’s no telling where this could go next.
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