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Dominic Toretto’s Full Backstory Explained

Warning: This post contains MAJOR spoilers for Fast XF9 presented a clearer look into the Dom Toretto backstory previously shared in the Fast & Furious franchise. Vin Diesel has played the character since the saga’s 2001 debut, The Fast and the Furious. Though Diesel didn’t return for 2 Fast 2 Furious or Tokyo Drift (aside from a brief cameo), the actor returned to the spotlight for 2009’s Fast & Furious. Since then, Dom has served as the core figure in the saga. Since Dom made his on-screen debut two decades ago, it was clear Diesel’s character was meant to embody a leadership role.

He had his own crew, but when Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) infiltrated the team as an undercover cop, Dom somehow convinced him that his actions stemmed from doing what he thought was right for his friends, who he considered family. Brian turned into a brother-like figure in Dom’s life as the crew around the pair grew as they tackled criminals, drug lords, and terrorists worldwide. Brian might no longer be in the equation due to Walker’s untimely death, but The Fast Saga introduced Dom’s real brother, Jakob, into the mix in F9. While this serves as an important factor in the franchise’s current storyline, it simultaneously modified the Dom Toretto backstory.

Dominic Toretto’s Childhood
Dom Toretto backstory with his siblings in F9.

Born in 1976, Dom is the eldest Toretto sibling, and his father made an effort to teach his oldest son what it means to be the man of the house. Though it’s still unclear what happened to the kids’ mother in the Dom Toretto backstory, The Fast Saga clarifies that Jack Toretto (J.D. Pardo) took his role as a single father seriously. In Fast Five, Dom shared what he remembered most about his father, including how he would encourage his neighbors to attend church with the reward of a weekly barbecue. He also always had time to help Mia with her homework despite juggling the family’s market and his career as a stock racer.

From a young age, Jack taught all he knew about cars to both Dom and Jakob. The trio worked together on Jack’s 1970 Dodge Charger R/T, which Dom took ownership of later in life. Though Jack put more pressure on Dom as the oldest, Jakob mistook that as favoritism. The family may have been a cohesive unit when the kids were young, but Jack’s death broke the family bond, especially when it came to Dom and Jakob.

Jack Toretto’s Death & Dom’s Prison Sentence
Young Dom Toretto in F9.

In The Fast and the Furious, Dom shared details regarding his father’s tragic death when talking to Brian O’Conner. When Dom was still in his teens, Jack continued his career as a professional stock car racer. However, during the last race of the season, a fellow stock car racer named Kenny Linder (Jim Parrack) targeted Jack, who was clearly one of the best on the track. After attempting to run Jack off the course, Kenny clipped the back of Jack’s car, sending him crashing into the wall at a high rate of speed. The vehicle instantly burst into flames while Dom had no option but to watch from the sidelines.

Dom, who knew his father’s death could have been avoided, went after Kenny, beating him with a wrench. The man survived, but Dom was sentenced to prison for the assault. He served a few years in Lompoc Prison, and his life greatly changed when he returned home. Without his father around, Dom was forced to take care of Mia while also managing the family’s corner store. Though he was banned from the racetrack for attacking Kenny, Dom never gave up his interest in cars. Granted, for the Dom Toretto backstory, his honorable life took a turn when he formed a crime ring by hijacking trucks

F9’s Backstory Retcon: Jakob Accidentally Killed Jack
The accident in the F9 stockcar race.

While much of Jack’s tragic history was presented early in The Fast Saga, F9 retconned certain details of the Dom Toretto backstory to fit in Jakob. The fact that Dom and Mia had a brother wasn’t officially revealed until the initial F9 trailer. By introducing the character, questions arose regarding how he fit into the Toretto family origins since his name was never mentioned. Through flashbacks, F9 modifies Jack’s death through Jakob’s involvement. Dom wasn’t just a spectator of the race that killed Jack; he was a member of his dad’s pit crew along with Jakob and a family friend, Buddy (Michael Rooker).

It turned out Jakob tampered with Jack’s car just moments before the big crash. Dom realized this after meeting Tego Leo and Rico Santos in prison. To Jakob’s defense, Jack came to his younger son, requesting that he do something under the car’s hood to throw the race. Jack and the Toretto family were in serious debt, but he couldn’t turn to Dom with this information. Instead, he trusted Jakob to help him, but it accidentally resulted in the man’s death.

Technically, Jakob was the one who was prepared to fight Kenny following distasteful remarks regarding Jack’s demise. However, as the bigger brother and new leader of the Toretto family, Dom stopped Jakob from doing something he would regret. Still, he couldn’t stop himself from attacking Kenny due to his own grief from losing his father. Dom’s actions may have saved Jakob, but they ended up setting Dom down a dark path.

How Dominic Became The Man In The Fast & The Furious
Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious.

With the knowledge of Jakob’s involvement in Jack’s death, Dom knew his brother had to pay for the pain he caused. While Dom was in prison, Jakob emerged as a skilled street racer within the Los Angeles area. One night, Dom turned up hell-bent on racing his brother head-to-head, but under the condition that if Jakob loses, he must keep driving and never turn back. Dom confronted Jakob, believing he killed their dad on purpose. Of course, Dom beat Jakob, forcing the latter to exile himself from the Toretto family.

While the Dom Toretto backstory saw him become the leader viewers know him to be since the Fast & Furious franchise launched in 2001, his role fell into place due to pivotal scenes presented in F9. Though Jakob was sent away, he didn’t go far, considering he stayed with Buddy until leaving Los Angeles and disappearing. Mia secretly kept in touch with Jakob until his disappearance, which the siblings would later learn was necessary to Jakob’s career as a spy. While the core of Dom’s backstory remained the same, F9 added a few complicated layers while sharing the tragedies of his past.

Dom Toretto Lives To Carry On His Father’s Legacy In Fast X
Custom image of Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto and Rita Moreno in Fast X.

A previously unseen member of the Toretto family showed up in Fast X when Dom’s grandmother paid a visit. The scene was only meant to set up the movie, but it also solidified where in the Dom Toretto backstory he received his ideas on “family.” The scene had a family dinner, with all the members of the team, and Dom’s new family eating. The only person not in attendance was Brian, who was still staying away to protect his child. While Dom was in the garage after dinner, his grandmother Abuelita Toretto walked in and began talking to Dom.

She echoed what Dom has always said about family, showing where in his past he likely learned these great lessons. As she told him, he lives to honor the legacy of his father and to carry on to future generations the idea that nothing is more important than “familia.” Abuela said that Dom honors his father’s name every day with how he lives and fights for his family. It was also important to see how Dom’s idea of family stretches out to everyone around him. In Fast X he met up with Isabel, who turned out to be the younger sister of Elena, the mother of Dom’s son, Little B – showing in Fast & Furious, Dom will protect everyone he considers family, at all costs.

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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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