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What If Vin Diesel Never Returned To Fast & Furious

Despite the success of the first Fast & Furious, Vin Diesel was at one point going to walk away from the franchise – here’s what could’ve happened had he never returned. While it’s hard to imagine the Fast & Furious franchise without Dom Toretto, Diesel chose to pursue The Chronicles of Riddick when discussions of a sequel to The Fast & Furious first emerged. He was notably absent from both 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift, despite filming an uncredited cameo in the latter.

Eventually, Vin Diesel returned to the Fast & Furious franchise after being offered more creative control. Universal Pictures offered Diesel the chance to produce the scripts after both 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift fell short critically, paving the road for the family-orientated stunt bonanza that is now the Fast & Furious franchise. In the driving seat, Diesel produced arguably the true sequel to the original, Fast & Furious, and he continues to build a universe with heart, fast cars, and increasingly ludicrous action. Nonetheless, this is what could’ve happened, had Diesel chosen to stay away.

Related: Brie Larson’s Fast & Furious Casting Makes A Female Spinoff More Likely

Toretto’s Family Would Get In Less Trouble
The Fast and the Furious family BBQ at the end of F9.

Toretto may wax lyrical about keeping his family out of danger, but he sure does get them into a lot of trouble. His dogged attempts to find Letty Ortiz’s (Michelle Rodriguez) killer in Fast & Furious results not only in dragging Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) back into the criminal underworld but his own incarceration. The resulting prison break dragged in several members of Toretto’s family and was led by his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and O’Conner. The franchise sees all three back on the run in Fast Five. Later in the franchise Dom is personally responsible for nearly killing Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), triggering the events of Furious 7 as Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) seeks revenge on Dom’s crew.

Later, Dom’s link to Cipher (Charlize Theron) gets Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) and his own son kidnaped in The Fate of the Furious, and Dom’s complicated relationship with his brother Jakob (John Cena) drags a retired team back into the action in F9. Despite there being peace at the end of the latest film, the events of Fast X – madly rumored to involve time travel – will almost certainly be triggered by something to do with Dom, and it’s unlikely that something will be anything good. Without Diesel there is no Dom and without Dom the rest of the characters in the Fast & Furious franchise may well have been left in peace.

Jason Statham Doesn’t Join The Fast & Furious
Deckard Shaw enters the Dubai hotel

Had Vin Diesel never returned, Dom Toretto would never have sought out Letty. Letty’s back-story, involving Luke Shaw, would’ve never come to pass and Dom would’ve never played a role in seeing Owen Shaw thrown from a moving plane. This chain of events needed to happen for Owen Shaw’s brother to exist and seek revenge. Audiences may never have even met Deckard Shaw, likely leaving Jason Statham out of the franchise. The iconic British actor swaggered into the Fast & Furious franchise as a main character like it was made for him. Without Diesel, this may have never happened.

Michelle Rodriguez Wouldn’t Return
Fast and Furious Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz

Diesel’s intention of bringing heart back into the franchise after Tokyo Drift has been successful and his persistent advocation for “family” is tightly woven into the franchise. It’s almost certain that Diesel’s sentimentality saw him bring back the old crew when producing the script for the fourth film. Top of that list: Letty Ortiz. Toretto’s eventual wife and original love interest – Ortiz – was also absent from both 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift. While Letty has always been the engine that drives Toretto, Rodriguez has taken issue with the franchise several times, while consistently being backed up by Diesel. It’s unlikely that audiences would’ve seen her again without Diesel’s input in curating the franchise.

Related: Fast & Furious 10 Continues To Fuel Your Time Travel Theories

The Franchise Would’ve Avoided Tangling With The Government
Kurt Russell as Mr Nobody in Fast and Furious

The original The Fast & Furious wasn’t over-the-top ridiculous and was a relatively low-key action film, focused on inhabiting the world of real-world street racing. 2 Fast 2 Furious was a fairly tepid sequel, but it still kept its feet fairly placed in reality. Tokyo Drift expanded the franchise while exploring the real-world street racing niche of drifting. It’s pretty clear that as soon as Diesel returned, the ridiculous factor ramped up pretty quick. Championing bombastic action, impossible stunts, and ludicrous set-pieces, Diesel seems intent at throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. It’s admirable, to throw realism in the bin and try and give the audiences a true thrill-ride, but it would’ve been interesting to see how the universe would’ve evolved without him.

Not only was Vin Diesel clearly responsible for Fast & Furious’ big changes and ramping up the franchise’s action, but his character was the one who led his rag tag group of car thieves into helping Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), and it was Toretto who was coerced into working for Cipher. Combine these plot devices with an increasingly nutty penchant for unbelievable set-pieces and you have a franchise that has fallen away from street racing into the realm of spies, world-ending super weapons, and nuclear submarines. Diesel is arguably responsible for leading both the franchise and his character to tangle with the government, something that could’ve been avoided without him.

Justin Lin Wouldn’t Have Quit Fast X
Justin Lin and Vin Diesel working on Fast Five

If Diesel is responsible for the feel of the Fast universe, movie and TV stalwart Justin Lin has been instrumental in directing most of it. Lin stepped in to direct Tokyo Drift and then remained with the franchise through its re-imagining in the fourth film on to Fast & Furious 6. He stepped out briefly and then returned for F9 and was meant to be back for Fast X, but then a very public blow-out that almost certainly involved Diesel saw Lin leave the franchise for good. Lin said that working with Diesel was difficult and claimed the actor didn’t know his lines. It seems that without Diesel the franchise might’ve kept Lin, but it’s not clear what difference that would’ve made to the tenth film in the franchise.

Could The Fast & Furious Franchise Continue Without Diesel
Fast Furious Dom Toretto Vin Diesel

The simple answer is yes, because it has already happened. Producers of the first sequel had two scripts – and a short – written for 2 Fast 2 Furious, one with Diesel and one without. While they were keen to have him return it was never a given and so the first sequel was developed with both Diesel and Walker set to lead. When Diesel chose to develop Riddick beyond Pitch Black instead of returning, Walker stepped up and the franchise continued. It continued further with Tokyo Drift and while it wasn’t particularly well received, the franchise remained popular with a younger teenage audience. A franchise without Diesel is possible, it just probably wouldn’t have been any good.

Related: Why A Fast & Furious Cipher Spinoff Is Actually A Great Idea

Who Could’ve Led Fast & Furious Instead Of Vin Diesel (Paul Walker Or The Rock?)
The Rock Walker

Diesel would’ve left some pretty big shoes to fill had he decided to leave the Fast saga, as the excitement of a potential solo Dom Toretto film speaks to the strength of his character. If the franchise were to continue, there are several candidates to fill those shoes. Paul Walker would’ve been the most obvious choice, as he comfortably starred in 2 Fast 2 Furious without Diesel. While it wasn’t the smash hit some hoped it would be, that had little to do with the character of Brian O’Connor. The former cop turned fugitive found himself planning a garage with Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) at the end of the sequel. With a clean slate and charismatic presence, the future of the franchise could’ve easily been led by Walker as O’Connor.

Tragically, Paul Walker passed away in 2013. Even if Diesel had never returned, Walker would’ve been able to carry the torch only so far. If forced to look elsewhere there is another who matches Diesel in stature and arguably bests him in charisma: The Rock. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson first appeared in the Fast saga during 2011’s Fast Five. The hulking and imposing Luke Hobbs oozed lead actor energy, much like The Rock himself. If things had gone well, a Rock-led Fast and Furious film may have been on the cards. As it happens, he had a pretty big falling out with Diesel and left the franchise after The Fate of the Furious. He has however returned to Hobbs, playing him in Hobbs and Shaw and is set to play him again in a future sequel. If Diesel ever fully leaves the franchise, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that The Rock could return.

Next: The Rock’s DCEU Plan Could Be A Fast & Furious Redo

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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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