Vin Diesel had CinemaCon audiences worked up, laughing and cheering with off-script moments as he thanked theater owners for their work over the years on the Fast and Furious saga.
“I should be reading from the teleprompter. But you guys don’t give a shit about the teleprompter,” Diesel said to applause during a slow, methodical speech in which he waxed philosophical about the values of family and his love for theaters. At one point, he mockingly read the rather trite words he was supposed to deliver, something about Fast picking up the mantle while Avengers rested and Star Wars put down the lightsaber. More laughs and cheers from the crowd ensued.
The star of Fast X revealed that Fast 11 would arrive in 2025.
“Thank you for riding with me for a quarter of a century,” said Diesel, who added, “I like this room better than the Oscars. And you know I really mean that … because all those people who are sitting in the audience in the Oscars, are only there because of you.”
Diesel noted that Fast was the longest franchise in history, in terms of the same actors continuously playing the same characters. “This is our family,” he said. “The audience is our family. And as we were building towards this achievement, we were attracting directors who each brought their own magic to the saga.”
Fast X was originally going to be helmed by longtime Fast filmmaker Justin Lin, but he departed over creative differences a year ago, with Louis Leterrier stepping in. Leterrier is also on board for the upcoming 11th installment.
“I’m proud to say for two decades, the Fast films have been the most successful film of every one of our director’s careers,” Diesel said. “Again — that’s only because of you.”
Earlier, four of Diesel’s co-stars took a walk down memory lane. Jordana Brewster recalled the summer of 2001, when she was just 21 years old and the first movie came out. “The movie was all about cars, but at its core, at its heart, was about family,” she said of that first Fast and the Furious film.
She was flanked onstage by Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang and Michelle Rodriguez. Gibson noted that he and Ludicrous joined with 2 Fast 2 Furious — which he said has the best title of them all.
Added Kang: “2006, Tokyo. The saga went international for the first time,” referencing Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.
And Rodriguez kept it going, saying the 2009 film Fast & Furious “was a new beginning in a way,” noting it was the first time in a decade the late Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Brewster were reunited.
And the trip down memory lane continued from there, as they charted how the franchise became one of the biggest franchises of all time.
“This movie will always stand above in our hearts,” Brewster said of Furious 7the film that honored Walker, who died with the film just halfway done.
Finally, they got to Fast Xwith the actors bringing out Diesel, who spoke to the crowd alone, calling theater owners “soldiers on the front lines,” wondering aloud what the world would be like without movie theaters.
Fast X features franchise newcomers Jason Momoa, Brie Larson and Rita Moreno, with Momoa playing the villain. Momoa previously spoke about his villain, calling him “evil and quirky and androgynous.”
Spanning more than 20 years, the Fast franchise has been a dependable box office draw, with Fast X and the upcoming 11th installment billed as a finale for the main series of films anchored by Diesel. F9: The Fast Saga earned $726.2 million globally upon release in summer 2021, a strong number as the box office was in pandemic recovery mode. The Fate of the Furious topped $1.2 billion in 2018.
Fast X arrives May 19.
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