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20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Film

Given the fact that the Fast and Furious franchise has grown into one of the biggest blockbuster series of all time, it is strange to look back on the first movie as the one that started it all. The Fast and the Furious took audiences into the world of street racing, introduced key characters that would lead the franchise, and establish the underlining story of family.

RELATED: Every Fast & Furious Movie Ranked, According To Ranker
Even wilder, The Fast and the Furious has recently celebrated its 20th anniversary of release. With such a milestone passed and the series heading into its final lap, it seems like a good time to look into some of the little-known facts about this first movie.

The Movie Began As An Article

Brian and Dom in a car in The Fast and the Furious

It’s always interesting to see the origins of popular movies and The Fast and the Furious has a surprising one. In the movie’s director commentary, director Rob Cohen explained that he was first given an article on street racing and asked about making a movie out of it.
Cohen initially didn’t see an entire movie set in this world. However, after attending an actual illegal street racing event and seeing the culture it created, he quickly changed his mind.

The Title Was Taken

Fast and Furious Vin Diesel and Paul Walker drag race in Charger and Supra

While the franchise has since come up with all sorts of creative and silly ways to rework the title for the many sequels, The Fast and the Furious remains a pretty ideal title for this first installment. However, when the movie was getting underway, it was discovered that the title was owned by a B-movie from 1955. In the commentary, Cohen explained that Universal traded stock footage to producer Roger Corman in exchange for use of the name.

Producers Wanted Timothy Olyphant As Dom

Timothy Olyphant in Justified

Vin Diesel began his rise as a Hollywood star thanks largely to his breakout role as Dom Toretto in The Fast and the Furious. He made the role into an iconic one and it is hard to imagine anyone else playing Dom. However, producers initially wanted Timothy Olyphant to take the role but he passed. During an interview on Watch What Happens Live, Olyphant insisted he didn’t regret turning it down as it “wasn’t my thing.”

Some Interesting Actors Were Considered For Brian O’Conner

The other key lead in the first movie was Brian O’Conner, played by Paul Walker. He ended up leading the franchise along with Diesel until Walker’s tragic death in 2013. And just like with Diesel, it is hard to see anyone else taking the role despite some interesting choices.
RELATED: Dom’s Family, Ranked By Fast & Furious Movie Appearances
The likes of Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, and even rapper Eminem were linked to the part at various times before Walker came on board the project.

The Romance Between Dom And Letty Was Not In The Original Script

Dom helps Letty during a car chase in Fast & Furious

Perhaps the most important relationship throughout all of the Fast and Furious movies has been the one between Dom and Letty. There have been a lot of ups and downs in their romance but it is very much the heart of the later movies especially. Oddly enough, this romance didn’t initially exist in the movie. But Cohen explains in the commentary that it was added after Michelle Rodriguez was cast in order to give her more to do.

Some Of The Cast Couldn’t Drive

Letty threatens a fellow race in Fast & Furious (2001)

In order to give a realistic sense of this world revolving around cars, the movie required many of the actors to do their own stunts behind the wheel. Interestingly, certain cast members were not even allowed to legally drive when they were cast in the movie. When talking to Entertainment Tonight, both Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez admitted to not having their driver’s license until after they got their roles.

Ja Rule’s Role Barely Existed At First

fast and furious ja rule edwin

It seems to have become a bit of a trend in these movies that a musical artist will make a cameo. And the first one to do so was Ja Rule who had a small role as one of the racers in the first street racing sequence. However, Cohen admitted in the commentary that the role for Ja Rule didn’t really exist by the time he came to set and it was made from him improvising the part along with the rapper.

The Movie Was Heavily Inspired By Westerns

Dom and his crew steal DVD players in The Fast & The Furious (2001)

Another detail Cohen discussed in the commentary was how so much of the movie was modeled after Western movies. He claimed that he saw Dom as the “fastest gun in the West” character. He also admitted that the opening truck heist sequence was inspired by Stagecoach, one of John Wayne’s most acclaimed movies, with the truck as the stagecoach and the cars as the outlaws on horses.

The Speeding Scenes Were Inspired By Star Wars

Star Wars Hyperspace Lightspeed

While the crime aspect of The Fast and the Furious may have been taken from Westerns, Cohen admitted on the commentary track that he had a more specific inspiration for the racing sequences.
RELATED: Fast & Furious’s 10 Best Characters, According To Ranker
He talked about wanting to add a science-fiction element to these scenes, particularly when the drivers initiate the NOS and go into high speeds. He modeled these moments off of the lightspeed sequences from Star Wars.

Similarities To Point Break

Bodhi and Johnny talk under the rain in Point Break

After so much time, fans may forget that the original plot of the movie revolved around Brian O’Conner as an undercover cop infiltrating Dom’s crew and being accepted into this underground culture. In the commentary, Cohen acknowledges that the plot shares a striking similarity to Point Break as well as the crime movie Donnie Brasco. But he simply praised both movies and insisted it was good to be inspired by the best.

The Reasoning For The Undercover Plot

While discussing the first act reveal of Brian being a cop, Cohen also acknowledged on the commentary that some questioned if that storyline was necessary for the movie. However, Cohen felt that the movie couldn’t be sustained by just focusing on the street racing as it was meant to be a movie about the lifestyle of this world rather than the racing itself. The crime story added more excitement to propel the movie.

The Editing Style Is Purposely Fast Throughout

Jesse prays for dinner in Fast and Furious (2001)

While the racing scenes and high-speed heist sequences are obviously the biggest draws in the first movie, Cohen wanted to ensure that the rest of the movie was as gripping as possible. In the commentary, he spoke about wanting the camera to always be in motion and wanting to have a fast editing style so even the scenes of dialogue and exposition felt like a race.

The Production Painted Local Houses

Johnny Tran and his crew confronts Dom and Brian in The Fast and the Furious

In the commentary, Cohen talked about wanting to make the world of the cars and the racing stand out as something truly special amidst the rest of the world around it. In order to do this, the production sometimes went to great lengths.
RELATED: 10 Funniest Goofs & Mistakes That Made It Into The Fast & The Furious Movies
Cohen said that they asked local houses that would appear in the shots with the cars if they could paint them more muted colors so that the colorful cars would stand out more.

The Torture Scene Was Scaled Back

Reggie Lee in Fast and Furious

The Fast and Furious movies have grown into huge adventures with plenty of action, but the violence in the first movie is quite tame by comparison. Even so, Cohen pointed out in the commentary that the torture scene in which a man is doused with motor oil was forced to be trimmed down. Cohen explained how important he thought it was that a younger audience be allowed to see the movie and therefore accepted when the MPAA asked to make the scene less intense in order to secure a PG-13 rating.

The Fight Between Brian And Vince Was Improvised

Matt Schulze in Fast and the Furious

One of the conflicts in the movie is between Brian and Vince, a particularly hostile member of Dom’s crew. Their rivalry starts very early as one of the first scenes finds them getting in a brawl. Cohen explained in the commentary that the entire fight was initially choreographed beforehand, but the two actors felt it was unnatural so they decided in the moment to improvise a scrappier fight which ended up being used.

Rick Yune Had Issues With Getting Beaten Up

Johnny Tran in The Fast and the Furious

The villain in the first movie was Johnny Tran, played by Rick Yune. As to be expected, the character serves as a rival of Dom and the two come to blows eventually at the desert sequence. In the commentary, Cohen explained that Yune was uncomfortable with his character getting knocked down so easily by Dom as he wanted to put up more of the fight. However, Cohen reasoned that a punch from Vin Diesel would not be easy to walk away from.

David Ayer Wrote The Movie’s Most Famous Line

Vin Diesel Dom in Fast and Furious

In the commentary, Cohen stressed the particular importance of the scene between Brian and Dom in the garage when Dom talks about his past as a violent criminal. He felt in humanized the anti-hero so the audience could root for him in the end.
RELATED: 10 Lesser Known Vin Diesel Movies That You Might Not Have Watched
And while there were a number of screenwriters who contributed to the script, Cohen singled out David Ayer as the one who came up with the famous line, “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time.”

Dom’s Karmic Justice

Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious.

While Cohen wanted fans to have a connection to Dom and see him as a sympathetic anti-hero, he explained in the commentary that he felt he needed to face some sort of punishment for his crimes. He felt as though Dom’s arc was building to some karmic justice being paid and that came with the final truck heist sequence. Cohen even avoided making the truck driver a distinguishable character as he wanted the truck to seem like a monster of karma.

The Stunt Work Of The Final Heist Scene

Brian jumps to truck in The Fast and the Furious 2001

Unsurprisingly, the sequence Cohen spent the most time talking about on the commentary track was the final truck heist scene. He was sure to express that while all the actors were doing a lot of their own stunts in the scene, there was never a point where they were put in any danger. Cohen expressed that he felt that level of safety being maintained is the art of action filmmaking. He also pointed out that actor Matt Schultz who plays Vince was actually strapped to the front of the truck for the sequence and was made an honorary stuntman at the end of the shoot.

Multiple Endings Were Shot

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in The Fast and the Furious

According to Cohen in the commentary, the most discussed and most controversial scene in the movie for the production was the ending in which Brian lets Dom escape arrest. Cohen explained that many of the people involved were unsure if that was the right direction to go in for the ending. While multiple alternate endings were shot, Cohen insisted that he always felt the movie was building to the moment Brian lets Dom go.
NEXT: 10 Most Underrated Moments In The Fast & Furious Series

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The 69-Year Story Behind The Fast And Furious Name


The Fast & Furious franchise started with the 2001 movie The Fast and the Furious and went through several major changes in its sequel titles. The title for the original movie was almost different, with options like Race Wars, but the producer fought for The Fast and the Furious.

As the Fast & Furious series has one of the most recognizable franchise names in cinema, some may be curious as to where its origin came from. The multi-billion-dollar franchise started with 2001’s straightforward street racing movie, The Fast and the Furious, but following that, the series went through several major changes, and that was mirrored in the Fast & Furious sequel movie titles. 2 Fast 2 Furious introduced numbered titles, then The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift immediately dropped that format. The fourquel confused things further with the title Fast & Furious, and it only got more confusing from there. However, every title is still a play on the original 2001 title.

The Fast and the Furious came to fruition following a Vibe magazine article called “Racer X”. Universal had the incredible foresight of seeing how popular street racing would become in the 2000s, and the studio quickly grabbed the movie rights to the article. However, while the movie was originally titled after the article, the studio wasn’t totally satisfied with that name, and many other titles, including Race Wars, were considered. The movie even went into production under the title Redline, but producer Neal Moritz had his mind set on one title that seemed unachievable to get; The Fast and the Furious.

RELATED: Fast & Furious Movies In Order – How (& Where) To Watch By Release Date & Chronologically

The Fast And The Furious Is Named After A 1954 Movie
Dom and Brian sitting on a car with their friends in The Fast and the Furious

Another movie titled The Fast and the Furious already existed, and it was released almost half a century before the 2001 street racing film was released. 1954’s The Fast and the Furious, written by Roger Corman, has nothing to do with street racing as it exists today. The movie follows a prison escapee who kidnaps a rich woman and steals her Jaguar, then ends up in an epic road race that ends in Mexico. While the title perfectly fits the 1954 film, Moritz was desperate to use the title for his own movie that he was producing, having learned about it after seeing a Roger Corman documentary (via Entertainment Weekly).

Moritz detailed how Universal didn’t seem to be completely on board at first. The producer explained, “I called up the head of marketing at Universal the next morning and said ‘Okay, I’ve got the title: The Fast and the Furious!’ And there was just silence on the other end. I was like, ‘Oh, I guess that is the worst title he’s ever heard.’ However, after mulling it over, Universal agreed, and it worked out perfectly, as the whole world now knows that name and it’s synonymous with the Vin Diesel-led franchise. Movie titles are extremely important, and it’s less likely that the movie would have become a billion-dollar franchise if it was titled Race Wars.

Paul Walker smiles in Dom's garage in The Fast and the Furious

Moritz revealed, “we made a deal with Roger to give him the use of some stock footage that Universal owned.” It isn’t clear if Corman ever benefited financially from that footage. In hindsight, he undoubtedly got a terrible deal. The Fast & Furious name is extremely important to the franchise and has made Universal billions. The name has even been used for spinoffs, and Fast & Furious Present: Hobbs & Shaw wouldn’t have made $760 million without the name attached to it. However, there was no knowing how huge the franchise became. After all, The Fast and the Furious was originally just a scrappy crime movie based on a magazine article.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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Fast X Video Reveals BTS Of Real, Practical Fights In OTT Sequel


The Fast X fight between Letty and Cipher was filmed using practical effects, resulting in a well-choreographed hand-to-hand combat sequence full of emotions. Cipher’s decision to team up with Dom and “La Familia” was out of necessity, but spending time with Letty after escaping prison could lead to her becoming a member of the family. Cipher’s unexplored history with Giselle and her association with Letty could help in mellowing down the former villain and potentially setting up a redemption arc or even a Cipher spin-off.

A new Fast X behind-the-scenes video shows how Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Cipher’s (Charlize Theron) intense fight scene was filmed. Dom and his “La Familia” returned on the big screen in 2023 for the tenth main installment of The Fast Saga. In a major twist, however, instead of butting heads again with Cipher, the primary villain of the franchise for several recent entries, Letty had to team up with her. That didn’t stop Letty from expressing her true feelings about her when they were both captured by the Agency.

Courtesy of Collider is a behind-the-scenes clip from Louis Leterrier’s Fast X that offers a look at how Cipher and Letty’s one-on-one fight scene was filmed. Check out the video below:

The Fast X fight is arguably one of the best choreographed hand-to-hand combat in The Fast Saga, and it’s all because they filmed it with practical effects. The result, coupled with the history between the pair, is an effective action sequence full of emotions.

How Cipher & Letty’s Relationship Evolves In Fast & Furious 11
Cipher wearing a coat in Fast X

Granted that Cipher’s decision to team up with Dom and “La Familia” came from necessity after she was targeted by Jason Momoa’s Dante, spending more time with Letty after escaping prison can lead to her becoming a proper member of “La Familia.” There’s precedent to this, with a few of the recent The Fast Saga villains ending up being redeemed and joining Dom and his crew. This has been the case with Deckard Shaw (despite his attempted murder of Han Lue), and more recently, John Cena’s Jakob, who sacrificed himself in Fast X to save Little B.

Increasing the chances of this happening is Cipher’s unexplored history with Giselle. After she and Letty finally escaped the Agency’s bunk prison, they found themselves in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, Giselle came to the rescue after Cipher notified her of their escape plan. There has never been any indication that Cipher and Giselle know each other before the massive Fast X twist. Making this more surprising is that Giselle has been believed to be dead for several years now. Her association with Giselle could help Letty mellow down on the former villain when they all return for Fast and Furious 11.

RELATED: Fast X Cliffhanger Ending Explained

Perhaps, this unexpected turn could be a set-up for the in-development Cipher spin-off. Specific plot details about the project are currently scant, with Universal still not announcing a tentative release date. Nevertheless, the events of Fast X could be the start of her redemption arc, with her relationship with Letty functioning as a barometer of whether viewers can finally forgive her for all of her transgressions.

Source: Collider

Key Release Dates Fast and Furious 11 temp poster

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10 Characters Who Should Be In It


Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty is the franchise’s biggest female character and the obvious pick to lead the all-female spinoff. Jordana Brewster’s Mia deserves a big role in the spinoff to expand on her character and showcase her growth. Brie Larson’s Tess is needed in the spinoff to explore the mystery surrounding her character and add her engaging screen presence to the team.

The Fast & Furious saga is meant to continue with an all-female-led movie, and casting the returning characters presents exciting options. An all-female spinoff could be the perfect way to continue the Fast &Furious story, as it will be able to retain the elements of the franchise that make it iconic while offering a new perspective. From the beginning, the franchise has been very male-dominated, and told male-centric stories, so offering the high-octane thrills of a Fast & Furious movie from a female perspective could be a welcome change of pace.

The series is known for having an all-star cast, so any female spinoff will have to match the previous films. Thankfully, the franchise already has several incredible female movie stars. Fast X, the latest film in the franchise, introduced and reintroduced some exciting female characters, setting the groundwork for the upcoming Fast & Furious movie. Obviously, whatever happens in the next film will determine who will be on the team and what side they will fight for. The franchise already has a healthy supply of female characters, both good and evil, who can factor into a Fast & Furious female spinoff.


Related Fast X Proves How Great A Fast & Furious Female Spinoff Would Be The idea of an all-female spinoff is more exciting than Fast & Furious 11, with Fast X providing the blueprint for just how well it could work.

10 Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Can Lead The Fast Spinoff Ensemble
She’s the franchise’s biggest female character

Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty has been a key member of the Fast family since the first movie, and no female spinoff would feel right without her leading the team. Dominic Toretto’s wife is one of the fastest drivers in the world. Letty has made her way from street racer to international woman of mystery, becoming one of the franchise’s best characters in the process. Rodriguez is an incredibly engaging screen presence thanks to her charisma and action pedigree. An all-female action movie is right in her wheelhouse, making her the obvious pick for the lead in the movie.

9 Jordana Brewster’s Mia Deserves A Big Role
The Toretto family member has been sidelined recently

Another extension of the Toretto family tree, Jordana Brewster’s Mia is Dom’s brother and the wife of Paul Walker’s Brian. Since Walker’s tragic death, as well as the introduction of countless new characters, Mia has been sidelined in recent films, which is a shame because she is one of the best parts of the earlier films. A spinoff with just the women could be a great time to expand on Mia’s character and see how she has grown over the past couple of years, especially now that she is the mother of two. Brewster is an underrated talent, and Mia should be heavily involved in whatever spinoff the filmmakers plan.

8 Brie Larson’s Tess Is Needed After Fast X Introduction
Mr. Nobody’s daughter has a bright future
Brie Larson as Tess firing a gun in Fast X

Fast X introduced several new faces to the franchise, but perhaps most notably was Brie Larson as Tess “Nobody”, a secret agent on a quest to protect Dom and his family. Larson had relatively little screen time in the movie, and her introduction felt like it was mostly included to set up a future spinoff. The Oscar winner is the perfect name to include in a spinoff. Larson is an incredibly engaging and vulnerable screen presence and a great addition to the team. As her family name would imply, there is still a lot of mystery about Tess that this spinoff could explore.

7 Ramsey’s Return Can Give Nathalie Emmanuel A Major Role
The hacker has a growing set of skills
Nathalie Emmanuel in Fast and Furious 7.

After her first appearance in Furious 7, Nathalie Emmanuel’s Ramsey has been the Fast team’s resident hacker and tech wiz. The Game of Thrones star has mostly been used for exposition and comic relief since joining the team, but Ramsey has a distinctive style and skill set that would make her a great addition to the female spinoff. While Mia and Letty are great drivers, Ramsey has skills in the digital realm that could help the team on whatever mission they are on. It would also be interesting to see how Ramsey functions outside the trio of her, Tej, and Roman.

Cars and an image of Vin Diesel looking surprised in the Fast & Furious franchise Related Fast & Furious Showed How To Continue The Franchise After Vin Diesel 17 Years Ago (With A Catch) Fast & Furious finds itself at a crossroads with the end nearing, and Universal should look to the franchise’s most underrated movie for inspiration.

6 Daniela Melchior’s Return As Isabel Gives The Spinoff More Legacy
Isabel is the sister of Elena
Isabel (Daniela Melchior) in a car at a street race in Fast X

For a while, Elsa Pataky’s Elena was viewed as an obvious candidate to appear in a Fast & Furious female spinoff. However, after her untimely demise in The Fate of the Furious, her younger sister can fill that void. Another new female protagonist introduced in Fast X, Daniela Melchior’s Isabel also felt like she was included mostly to set up this future spinoff. Melchior is one of the more promising young actors to pop up this decade, and her work in The Suicide Squad proves she is more than ready to have a large part in a team-up action movie.

5 Gal Gadot’s Place In The Fast Spinoff As Gisele Is Likely
Fast X confirmed Gisele is still alive

Gal Gadot made her return to Fast and Furious in the final moments of Fast X’s ending, which confirmed that Gisele is alive after Fast & Furious 6. The character’s return had been speculated for a long time, and audiences should see much more of her now that her fate is confirmed. A Fast & Furious female spinoff can answer lingering questions about Gisele’s life, such as how she survived falling from a plane or what she’s been doing for the last several years. The movie can also finally give Gisele a prominent role in the franchise once again.

4 Charlize Theron’s Cipher Could Play Both Sides In The Spinoff
The franchise’s villain is not to be trusted

In both The Fate of the Furious and F9: The Fast Saga, Charlize Theron’s Cipher served as the franchise’s primary antagonist. While Fast X puts her allegiance into question, she is still one of the best villains in all of Fast and Furious and would make an excellent baddie for the all-women team to go up against. While Cipher could be a reluctant ally to the team, Theron is just much more fun hamming it up as the bad guy, and the film could serve as a fitting conclusion to her movie-spanning scheme.

3 Eva Mendes Can Return As Monica Fuentes At Long Last
She hasn’t been seen since Fast Five
Monica Fuentes pointing a rifle in 2 Fast 2 Furious.

The Fast & Furious female spinoff would also be a great opportunity to finally bring back Eva Mendes as Monica Fuentes. Following her debut in 2 Fast 2 Furious, she returned briefly in Fast Five’s post-credits scene. Eva Mendes has since mostly retired from acting, leaving audiences without a chance to see Monica’s story continue. A Fast X Easter egg did provide a reminder of her presence in the franchise. This could be to help set up her appearance in Fast 11, but a return alongside the franchise’s biggest female characters would be more fitting.

2 Vanessa Kirby’s Hattie Needs To Crossover With The Main Franchise
She’s from the franchise’s only current spinoff
Vanessa Kirby in Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs and Shaw

Only appearing in Hobbs & Shaw, Vanessa Kirby’s Hattie is the third sibling in the Shaw family and one of the most dangerous women in the Fast universe. She was a scene-stealing presence in the previous Fast & Furious spinoff movie that left audiences wanting more. It would be great to see Kirby return for an even bigger role in the franchise spinoff, allowing her to interact with some of the other prominent characters along the way.

1 Helen Mirren’s Queenie Should Be The Female Ensemble’s Mentor
She’s become a frequent face
Dom Toretto and Queenie Shaw in Fast and Furious

With her appearances in the past four movies, including Hobbs & Shaw, Helen Mirren has become a surprising mainstay of the Fast & Furious franchise. Her role as British gangster Queenie is such a fun role for the Dame, and her time in the universe should continue especially in the all-female spinoff. Mirren’s roles in the movies have mostly been one-scene cameos, so this film could be a great space to expand the character and give her a chance to interact with more actors than just Vin Diesel.

Fast X Poster Fast X Release Date: 2023-05-19 Director: Louis Leterrier Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, Nathalie Emmanuel, John Cena, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Brie Larson, Scott Eastwood, Jason Momoa Rating: PG-13 Runtime: 141 Minutes Genres: Action, Adventure, Crime Writers: Justin Lin, Dan Mazeau, Gary Scott Thompson Budget: $340 Million Studio(s): Universal Pictures Distributor(s): Universal Pictures Sequel(s): Fast and Furious 11, Fast & Furious 12 prequel(s): Fast & Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Fast And The Furious, Fast 5, Fast and Furious 6, Furious 7, Fast and Furious 8, F9: The Fast Saga1 Franchise(s): Fast and Furious

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