The Fast and Furious franchise is about to go the way of Star Wars and Marvel as Universal plans an expansive shared universe around the property. This will reportedly include a number of sequels and spinoffs. Vin Diesel, producer and star of Fast & Furious 8, first broke this news to Variety. The team behind the blockbuster series is now in the preliminary stages of developing future movies set within the world of Fast and Furious. Fast & Furious 8 already has a set release date of April 14, 2017. This is what Vin Diesel had to say about the prospect of more movies.

"We've written out story lines for various characters. We've been playing with it for a long time. It's a very rich property and we're committed to treating it with a lot of class."
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At this time, it isn't known which Fast and Furious characters might be getting their own solo movies. Or whose early life might be delved into. Dwayne Johnson has previously hinted that his Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs may splinter off into his own series of movies still set within this world. If the actors are up for these standalone action thrillers, it seems Universe Pictures is willing to back the projects. Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley has confirmed that talks are underway in terms of broadening the series' reach. She had this to offer.

"We're certainly in conversations about how we can expand the franchise now. It's an ensemble cast and there's room to bring characters in and out."

While it sounds like a Fast and Furious shared universe might be on the fast track, there will be three more sequels coming first, starting with Fast & Furious 8. This next 'trilogy' is said to be different in tone from what has come before it. Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray is confirmed to be on board for this next sequel, but it isn't yet known if he'll stick around for 9 and 10. About bringing in this new director, Vin Diesel explained.

"We have a director who is going to bring the darkness out and bring out the character."

The next sequel is being likened to Vin Diesel's A Man Apart, which was also directed by F. Gary Gray. The studio is looking to shape the emphasis away from gravity-defying car races for this next 'trilogy'. About that, Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, had this to say.

"You can't keep having every movie have bigger and bigger stunts forever and ever and ever. Eventually you have to really focus on the story. We'll still have big stunts but bringing in this amazing storyteller is going to be great."

Furious 7 was one of the biggest hits of 2015, making over $1 billion worldwide. All involved believe there is a lot more story to be told within this universe. And they're all ready to have some fun with it. While the series has been around since 2001, when The Fast and the Furious first debuted, Shell says its still relatively new to audiences in various parts of the world.

"It's at its peak now. By the way, internationally something people forget is yes, this is 'Furious 7,' but probably half the people around the globe that saw 'Furious 7' hadn't seen any of the other 'Fast and Furious' films in the theater. It's new in China to them, it's new in Russia to them, it's new in most of Latin America, so this is a series that's accelerating in my view, not slowing down."

The Fast and Furious movies will be vastly different as they move forward without Paul Walker, who passed away in a car crash mid-production on Furious 7. About how his spirit will live on, it is said that he will be represented in some form. Though, it isn't known if his image will appear in any of the upcoming movies. It isn't known how many more prequels or spinoffs are planned, but the team does see in inevitable end sometime in the future. It's just no telling when that may be. What do you think? Are you excited for more Fast and Furious movies as we move into the future?

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange