It's the end of the work week. Which means another 'Fast Friday'video from the set of Fast and Furious 8. This one is particularly special, because it marks the half point in the production. Instead of showing off the past week's efforts in bringing the biggest and best sequel to the screen yet, director F. Gary Gray and star Vin Diesel share footage from the entire first leg of the shoot, promising some of this long-standing franchise's biggest and best action sequences. And yeah, there are some mighty big explosions amongst all the car wreckage. Says Gray about the shoot so far.

"Fast 8! We're here at the halfway mark. And it's going phenomenally well. I can't wait for you guys to see it. We're half way through. And we're smiling for a reason."

Vin Diesel then delivered this message to fans.

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"I have to say it is going beyond my expectations. My expectations were huge. It's remarkable to see everyone with so much desire to make something that honors all the fans that have been so loyal to the franchise for so long. We're not going to let up. Because when you know you have something special, you give it every ounce of your soul! Thank you for always supporting us and believing in us."

Previous Fast Friday video has given us our first look at Charlize Theron as the new villain Cipher, plus an insane "zombie car" stunt and a glimpse at the first day on set where the entire cast was assembled together. We also reported last month that Oscar winner Helen Mirren has been confirmed for a role in Fast & Furious 8. The Oscar-winning actress made headlines last year when she revealed how much she wants to star in a Fast and Furious movie and play a hard-driving villain. Though, she only has a cameo, and isn't being allowed behind the wheel this time out.

The story will primarily take place in New York, with production set for the Big Apple, Atlanta and Russia. The crew has already shot in Cuba and Iceland. It is believed that the Cuba scenes will introduce fans to Dominic Torreto's Cuban family. It isn't known how long principal photography is scheduled to last on Fast & Furious 8, but we know this will be the first installment of the franchise's final trilogy. Universal has already set an April 19, 2019 release date for Fast & Furious 9, and the franchise closes out with Fast & Furious 10 on April 2, 2021.

F. Gary Gray, who directed last year's critical and commercial sensation Straight Outta Compton, is taking the helm on Furious 8, working from a script by Chris Morgan. The writer is responsible for penning every movie in the series, except for the first two, 2001's The Fast and the Furious and 2003's 2 Fast 2 Furious. Universal has already set an April 14, 2017 release date for Fast 8, and it currently has that date all to itself. But it will be hitting theaters one week after Warner Bros.' Going In Style remake and Sony's Smurfs: The Lost Village. Take a look at the latest Fast Friday video from the Fast & Furious 8 set, courtesy of Youtube. And stay tuned for more on this sequel as shooting continues throughout the summer.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange