Fast and the Furious spinoffs are in development with Vin Diesel telling Variety that storylines for franchise characters have been written.
“We’ve been playing with it for a long time,” Diesel said. “It’s a very rich property and we’re committed to treating it with a lot of class.”
Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley confirmed that Universal is talking about expanding the franchise.
Variety reports that the focus remains on the upcoming Fast and Furious trilogy, which Diesel and Universal say will be “different in tone from the adventures that preceded them.”
“We have a director who is going to bring the darkness out and bring out the character,” said Diesel of Furious 8 director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton). Gray directed Diesel in the dark and gritty 2003 film A Man Apart, which Diesel said will be similar to their upcoming collaboration on the eighth film.
It makes perfect sense why Universal wants to expand the franchise. The seven films have accumulated $3.8 billion at the box office, making the franchise the seventh highest grossing of all time. The franchise is at its peak with Furious 7 raking in over $1.5 billion at the box office this past Spring.
The seventh film was star Paul Walker’s last, as he died in a car crash in 2013. Furious 7 sent off the character, but it sounds like the character will continue to have a presence, according to NBCUniversal vice-chairman Ron Meyer.
“Paul won’t be in it, but he’ll be represented in some form or another but whether his image is in it, I can’t tell you yet, but he won’t be in the film as a performer, as an actor, the way we did it last time,” Meyer said.
The eighth and far from final installment in the Fast and Furious franchise is set to be released on April 14, 2017.