Speculation has surrounded the possible production of "Fast and Furious 8" after the latest film in the series, "Fast and Furious 7," shattered box office records by making $1 billion worldwide in a short amount of time. Now the director and several of its actors have spoken out on the future of the film series.
According to Will Robinson of Entertainment Weekly, American actor Vin Diesel confirmed that there will indeed be an eighth installment of the film franchise. The film is slated for release on April 14, 2017.
"I swear to you and to my brother upstairs [the late Paul Walker], we are going to make the best movie you've ever seen," Diesel said.
According to Josh Dickey of Mashable, Diesel made the announcement himself on Thursday at CinemaCon. He thanked more than 4,000 theater owners who gathered at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for their support.
"There is something you all did," Diesel said. "For me, personally, you all gave me so much confidence. There was so much love. You made me feel like we could actually make history with Furious Seven. You've been so loyal all along."
Diesel elaborated on the relationship Universal Pictures had with the theater owners.
There's a pride that you have that we feel, the people that make the movie, the studio that I call my home, my family," Diesel said. "You make us feel like we want to give you the best move in the world to share with you."
According to Samantha Benitz of E! News, American actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson expressed delight at the film's accomplishment. Even the soundtrack within the film, which featured Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again," received more Spotify streams in 24 hours than any other track in the United States.
"We got lucky," Johnson said exclusively to E! News. "In movies, you don't make 'em to make a billion dollars...It was my approach that we're just gonna make a good movie and we got lucky."
Johnson, 42, added that there could be another film in the works for the "Fast and Furious" franchise.
"Possibly, you know look, everyone's talking about it now," Johnson said. "I think we create a little space, let [Fast 7] continue to roll out, people will enjoy it; seems like they are, and then we can talk about ."
Diesel also dropped a few hints about "Fast and Furious 8" when he visited Jimmy Kimmel in Hollywood back on March 31, which would include casting legendary American actor Kurt Russell. A clip from that interview has been posted on YouTube.
"Kurt Russell is a nice addition to the group," Kimmel said.
"Let me tell you something about Kurt Russell," Diesel said. "Kurt Russell came in for this movie ('Fast and Furious 7'), but we really hired him because of the story that follows this, that takes place in New York City. It's just some cool stuff that not everybody knows."
However, director James Wan indicated to Jen Yamato of the Daily Beast that the eighth installment of "Fast and Furious" could be the last film in the entire series. He stated that "no one knows much we went through to finish Furious 7."
"I wasn't delusional at all when I signed on to do Furious 7, that it wasn't my creation," Wan said. "It's the seventh movie in a series, for goodness sake!"
According to Yamato, the death of Paul Walker added its own challenges to finishing the film. Walker's brothers, alongside some creative editing, script rewrites and previous shots of Walker made before his untimely death, were used in the process.
"Threading that needle meant walking that fine line of making a movie that still belongs in the Fast & Furious world-this crazy, fun movie with over-the-top set pieces-but at the same time knowing there was this really dark and heavy cloud that hung over us, and knowing we needed to service that," Wan said.
Wan added that they were "lucky" to even finish the film in the first place.
"Seriously-at one stage there was not going to be a movie to put out, and that was going to be it," Wan quipped.
Wan, who is well known in Hollywood for making horror films, indicated that he was "ecstatic but exhausted" from making the latest "Fast and Furious" film. However, the future of the franchise itself will depend on what Universal "wants to do moving forward."
"They really have to think about how they want to proceed with it, and in a lot of ways the next bunch would almost be like finding a new start," Wan said. "If they're smart about it, they could potentially reinvent the wheel again."
Wan added that given the "beating" he took in making the film, he will "see what their plans are and how quickly they jump into the next one."