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10 2000s Movies That Became Instant Classics, According To Reddit

Everything Everywhere All at Once has taken the world by storm in the past few months, and given that TikTok videos are now being made about the multiversal movie, it’s safe to say that it’s an instant classic. The film pulled off action sequences that have never been seen before and managed to tell a unique and very personal story inside of a huge and ambitious concept.

Only a handful of movies have been labeled as classics as soon as they were released, and Redditors have their own opinions about movies branded as instant classics, too. Between an anime that found a huge American audience, a mostly-adlibbed comedy, and a kitschy film that actually started a whole zeitgeist, these films have been constantly talked about ever since their releases.

Shrek (2001)
Shrek leaving the outhouse

Redditor Stayinyerlanepls thinks Shrek instantly became a classic in 2001, positing, “It’s amazing how much cultural impact an animated movie about ogres has had.” As soon as Shrek hit theatres 21 years ago, everyone knew that it would stand the test of time. The film had boundary-pushing animation, even compared to Pixar, and it was the first ever movie to win Best Animated Picture at The Academy Awards.

RELATED: Shrek – 10 Hilarious Memes That Sum Up The Series

Even though movies that heavily reference pop culture don’t tend to age well, Shrek somehow overcame that and is just as popular today, despite being filled with jokes about pop stars who were popular at the time. And it has surprisingly become ogre a meme and is all over TikTok, which must count for something.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)
Captain Jack Sparrow standing at the mast of his ship in Pirates of the Caribbean

To say that The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was based on a theme park ride, it somehow became one of the biggest movies of 2003. Octopuswhatsup thinks the swashbuckling movie became an instant classic in 2003, noting, “An absolute masterpiece cinematic gem. All the rest were ‘meh’ at best, just trying to recapture the magic.”

The 2003 movie is wildly entertaining, features some groundbreaking digital effects, and introduces the most iconic cinematic pirate of all time, Jack Sparrow. And as the Redditor alludes to, not even the critically scathed sequels have managed to tarnish The Black Pearl’s legacy, proving just how much of an instant classic it is.

Spirited Away (2001)
Chihiro and No Face on the train in Spirited Away

Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away spoke to both adults and children when it was first released, which is a big hint that an animated movie will transcend the modest US success it was destined for. Sportswiz72 believes the 2001 anime is an instant classic because of just how unique it was at the time. The Redditor notes, “Just about every Studio Ghibli film is an instant classic, but Spirited Away was so gracefully dark, it could never be duplicated.”

What mostly proves the movie is an instant classic is that it actually managed to find huge audiences in English-speaking countries. While most Studio Ghibli movies and other foreign language films are successful, they rarely have the success that Hollywood movies do, but Spirited Away made just over $355 million worldwide, massively overperforming with a modest $15 million budget (via Box Office Mojo).

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004)
The news team in Anchorman

User Bigsz thinks Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy became an instant classic in 2004 because of how endlessly quotable it was. The Redditor hilariously recalls, “The day it came out, everyone seemed to have the entire transcript memorized.” Between “I love lamp” and “60% of the time, it works every time.” The news anchors’ dialogue is ingrained in every fan’s brain, and even non-fans of the movie know the quotes well.

RELATED: 7 Actors Who Were Supposed To Star In Anchorman (According To The Original Script)

But, along with the laugh-out-loud lines, the Channel 4 news team make up some of the most beloved comedy characters ever, and it started the movie careers of so many now-bankable stars. And, as there was a sequel set in the 80s, it’s about time the trilogy was rounded out with a threequel set in the 90s.

Superbad (2007)
Seth and Evan on the street in Superbad

Redditor Ofsquire believes Superbad became an instant classic for its depiction of 2000s higher schoolers. The Redditor claims, “Superbad will always relate to teenage kids I believe. I love watching it to get a big nostalgia trip from when I was in high school. That movie is so well done.”

While shows like Skins and Euphoria attempt to realistically portray high school life, getting rejected by crushes and getting turned down at liquor stores seemed to resonate with many audience. The 2007 movie is one of the best movies for millennials because of how relatable it is, and not even the John Hughes-directed coming-of-age 80s movies do as good of a job at accurately depicting teenagers.

Marie Antoinette (2006)
Marie Antoinette And Her Ladies

User Srubbingbubbles simply comments, “Marie Antoinette,” as an instant classic, and given how different it is from its peers, the Redditor isn’t wrong. Period dramas about royal families usually follow the same structure, but writer-director Sofia Coppola has such a unique approach to the subject. Using the technique that she established with Lost in Translation, the filmmaker takes a minimal approach to the life of the former Queen of France.

The film is light on dialogue and the actions tell the story. Coppola also doubles down on her post-modern approach, as the 1700s-based movie is full of contemporary indie music, and Antoinette has a closet full of Converse All-Star sneakers. However, there’s just as much of an argument to be made that the movie is a classic, but it wasn’t instant, as the 2006 film was booed at the Cannes Film Festival,

Idiocracy (2006)

Mike Judge’s Idiocracy follows Joe, a man with an average IQ who is frozen and then thawed out 500 years later. He awakens to find that civilization is completely ruined and that he’s the smartest man in America. Cameoloveus thinks the movie is an instant classic but notes, “Unfortunately that turned out to be less ‘movie’ and more ‘prophecy.’

RELATED: 10 Movies That Had Amazing Concepts But Were Executed Terribly, According To Reddit

The Redditor is exaggerating a little, as farmers and watering do not crop with Gatorade, and the President of the United States has yet to wear the Star-Spangled Banger as a cape. But with social media allowing people to see so much more of what’s going on in the world, it’s easy to see why the user would think such a thing.

Taken (2008)
Bryan Mills shows Marko a picture in Taken

Reddit user 5s-are-cool thinks Taken was an instant classic, and between its immediate influence on the action genre and shock value that’s still talked about today, the Redditor makes a great choice. Though Liam Neeson had starred in action movies before, such as Darkman and Batman Begins, it was Taken that made audiences look at the actor as an action hero. The 2008 movie is another release that overperformed at the box office, as it made $227 million off of a budget of just $25 million (via Box Office Mojo). And that success turned it into a franchise with two sequels.

While movies like John Wick are praised for the meticulous gun-fu action sequences and violence, Taken did it first. The film was shockingly violent and one of the most intense and thrilling revenge movies ever, and it has Neeson’s best fight scenes. The film had such an impact on the movie industry, as it influenced so many other action movies in the following years, including most Neeson-starring films.

The Room (2003)
Tommy screams on a roof top in The Room

User Max_Danage points to 2003’s independently made The Room as the most obvious instant classic. The Room was an instant classic, but not in a good way. The film immediately became a film that was passed around by friends, and they were in sheer disbelief that a movie like this could get made.

The film is terribly made, the acting is hilariously bad, and the editing is atrocious, but there’s something about it that makes it so alluring. Johnny became a popular character meme immediately after the film’s release because of the ridiculous dialogue and how it was delivered. It’s such a surprising classic that a comedy was made about the making of the film, The Disaster Artist.

The Fast And The Furious (2001)
Letty looks sideways while sitting inside a car in The Fast and the Furious

The Fast and Furious series has grown into an unstoppable force at this point, but the huge moneymaking blockbusters could hardly be called instant classics. However, the original 2001 movie that started it all is a different beast entirely. Usual_Ranger8164 thinks the film is an instant classic, and though the film was badly received by critics, it was a huge hit amongst general audiences.

But what truly cements it as an instant classic is how it started an entire zeitgeist. Following the movie, everybody was putting decals on their cars, and street racing video games were quickly thrown into development to capitalize on the trend. While the 2001 film isn’t loved by everybody, few other films had such an immediate and lasting impact on the world.

NEXT: 10 Best Fast & Furious Characters Who Only Appeared Once

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All 4 Fast & Furious Heroes Who Stayed Dead (& Which One Is Most Likely To Return)


Fast & Furious franchise is known for bringing back dead characters, but there are a few heroes who have remained dead. Jack Toretto, Dom’s father, died in a racing accident and his death should not be undone in the franchise. Jesse, a member of Dom’s crew, was killed in a drive-by shooting, while Vince was killed during an ambush. Elena, Dom’s love interest, was killed by the villain Cipher.

The Fast & Furious franchise has brought many characters back from the dead, but a handful of its heroes have remained killed off after their demise. The Fast Saga has taken its characters on a wild ride from street racing to the most outlandish adventures possible. The running theme of the Fast & Furious franchise has long been family, with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) building quite a large family indeed over the course of the Fast Saga’s run.

On top of its embrace of ridiculous, superhuman feats as a staple of its action scenes, the Fast & Furious movies are also well known for bringing back seemingly dead characters for more missions. The returns of Sung Kang’s Han in F9 and Gal Gadot’s Gisele Yashar in Fast X would be especially noteworthy in emphasizing the notion that no Fast & Furious death is irreversible. However, that is not entirely true, as there have been a few Fast & Furious heroes who have died and never come back.

RELATED: 10 Fast & Furious Characters Who Must Return In New Hobbs Spinoff

4 Jack Toretto
An image of Jack Toretto driving a car in F9

Jack Toretto (J.D. Pardo) is the father of Dom, Mia (Jordana Brewster), and Jakob Toretto (John Cena), and is first seen in a flashback to 1989 in F9. Jack is a highly skilled race car driver who instilled that talent in his children, with Dom and Jakob being part of his racing pit crew. However, Jack’s racing career took a tragic turn when his car malfunctioned and crashed, killing him. Dom later beat his father’s racing opponent, Kenny Linder (Jim Parrack), almost to death with a wrench, believing him responsible for his father’s demise.

This tragedy also led to Dom and Jakob falling out, with Dom later coming to believe that Jakob set up their father’s death since he was the last one to work on his car. However, Jack was intentionally attempting to throw the race in order to get his family out of debt. He had asked Jakob to help tinker with his car so that it would fail, with Jack’s death being unintentional on both their parts. While his return has been theorized by fans, of all the characters killed off in Fast & Furious, Jack Toretto’s death should never be retconned.

3 Jesse
Jesse in The Fast and the Furious pic

One of the early members of Dom’s family in the original The Fast and the Furious, Jesse (Chad Lindberg) was the brains of Dom’s crew in his enterprise of stealing DVD players. Jesse went on the run after losing a street race to Dom’s rival, Johnny Tran (Rick Yune), having bet his MK3 Volkswagen Jetta in the race. Jesse was later killed outside of Dom’s house when Johnny Tran and his associate Lance Nguyen (Reggie Lee) arrived and performed a drive-by shooting. Dom and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) then chased down Johnny Tran and Lance Nguyen to avenge their fallen friend.

2 Vince
fast and furious 5 vince

Vince (Matt Schulze) was another member of Dom’s crew in The Fast & the Furious, and he was badly injured during a truck heist in that first movie. After his recovery, Vince fled to Rio de Janeiro where he later reunited with Dom and family in Fast Five. Despite Vince having settled down with a wife and a baby son, he agreed to join Dom’s daring heist of Rio’s most feared crime boss Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Unfortunately, Vince was killed during an ambush by Reyes’s team. After successfully pulling off the heist, Dom left Vince’s intended share of the money with his wife and son.

1 Elena
Elena Neves walks with her gun drawn by a car

Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) worked alongside Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) in apprehending Dom and his crew in Fast Five. She and Dom gradually developed feelings for each other, however, and departed for Spain with Dom at the end of the movie. After Dom learned that his wife Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) was still alive despite her apparent death in Fast & Furious, Dom and Elena had an amicable split, only for it to later be revealed that Elena is the mother of Dom’s son in The Fate of the Furious.

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

After Elena was killed by the villainous Cipher (Charlize Theron), Dom and Letty raised the boy together, with the two naming him Brian after Brian O’Conner. Meanwhile, Dom later met Elena’s sister Isabel (Daniela Melchior), who joined Dom’s crew in Fast X. While Elena remains deceased as of Fast X, the arrival of her sister Isabel and Fast & Furious’s habit of not truly killing off characters makes her the most likely thought-to-be-dead hero to potentially return as the franchise speeds towards its finale.

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Fast & Furious 9 Producers Fined $1M For On-Set Accident, $1.2M Lawsuit Pending

Fast & Furious 9 faces hefty legal outcomes as the producers are fined $1 million for an on-set accident in addition to a $1.2 million lawsuit.

Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel bracing before crash in F9


Fast & Furious 9 producers have been fined $1 million and face a lawsuit over a stunt accident that caused “life-changing” injuries to a stunt performer. Stunt performer Joe Watts suffered a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury after a stunt mishap on the set of Fast & Furious 9. Investigation revealed that the producers neglected to address critical safety components, leading to the accident. Watts is seeking $1.2 million in personal damages.

The Fast & Furious 9 producers face a lawsuit and a hefty fine after a tragic stunt accident during filming in 2019. Directed by Justin Lin, F9: The Fast Saga was released in 2021, and was followed up by Fast X this year. Fast & Furious 9 was a relative box office success, taking home $726 million.

Two years after the film’s release, the Fast & Furious 9 producers are facing a lawsuit after an on-set accident. As per Variety, the producers were fined $1 million for “life-changing” injuries faced by stunt performer Joe Watts. Watts is also suing Warner Bros. $1.2 million in personal damages.

The Fast & Furious 9 Lawsuit Explained

Watts is an experienced stunt performer who has worked on other major action sets including Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ready Player One, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. His life changed on the set of Fast & Furious 9 when a stunt mishap flung him 25 feet onto a concrete floor below. This wrongly-executed stunt left Watts with a fractured skull and a traumatic brain injury that has had lasting impacts on the performer.

After an investigation of this incident, it was determined that his stunt vest line had become detached. The incident was then brought up in a U.K. court when the U.K.’s Health and Safety executive claimed that FF9 Pictures had failed to address a critical component during the risk assessment: a “rope snap or link failure.” This failure involved neglecting to inspect Watts’s vest and extend the crash matting. Watts’ injuries were reportedly life-threatening, and District Judge Talwinder Buttar declared him “fortunate to be alive.”

Related: Who Is In The Blue Car At The End Of F9

Watts has not been able to return to work as a stunt performer as a result of his injuries, thus having a vast impact on his career. This fact is noted in his $1.2 million against the production company, which is still pending. As Watts continues to face career losses after his tragic Fast & Furious 9 injury, the lawsuit will hopefully side in his favor as his case develops.

Source: Variety

F9 Poster F9: The Fast Saga Release Date: 2021-06-25 Director: Justin Lin Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Charlize Theron, John Cena, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Lucas Black, Kurt Russell Rating: PG-13 Runtime: 143 Minutes Genres: Action, Adventure, Crime Writers: Daniel Casey, Justin Lin, Alfredo Botello Budget: $200–225 million Studio(s): Universal Pictures Distributor(s): Universal Pictures Sequel(s): Fast X, 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 Five, Fast and Furious 6, Furious 7, Fast and Furious 8 Franchise(s): Fast and Furious

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Every Planned Fast & Furious Movie That Didn’t Happen (& Why)


Vin Diesel was not the first choice for the role of Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious. The studio initially wanted Timothy Olyphant, and there are significant differences between the original project and the final result. Vin Diesel did not return for 2 Fast 2 Furious, the only movie in the main saga without him or Paul Walker. However, a The Fast and the Furious sequel with Diesel could have happened. Vin Diesel was originally supposed to star in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, but the studio wanted a high school setting instead. He made a cameo at the end of the film.

Fast & Furious has gone from a low-stakes, standalone movie to a full-on blockbuster franchise, but not every envisioned project has become a reality. The Fast Saga premiered in 2001 with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel as lead actors, and it ended up spreading over 11 movies, one spin-off, two different short films, and a television series as of 2023, with more to come. The Fast & Furious franchise, which grossed over $7 billion globally, was supposed to be even bigger, and some projects will never get to happen.

Initially, the Fast & Furious franchise started as a street racing series with a focus on the car culture, culminating with the 2009 film Fast & Furious. Starting Fast Five, the saga transitioned from car races to heists and espionage, a theme that continued for the rest of the series. Fast & Furious was supposed to end with Fast X, but since there are a few rumored and confirmed Fast & Furious movies in development, the saga will likely continue in some form. Interestingly, Fast & Furious’ history could have been a lot different had any of its canceled or reimagined projects happened in their original forms.

Related: Every Fast & Furious Movie Ranked From Worst to Best

8 The Original The Fast And The Furious
Vin Diesel Wasn’t The First Choice
Dominic Toretto crosses his arms in front of black smoke from Fast & Furious

Although no one could see any actor portraying Dominic Toretto other than Vin Diesel, he wasn’t the first choice for the part. The first film, based on the article “Racer X” by Ken Li, always had Paul Walker tied to it, as Waulker had worked with director Rob Cohen on 2000’s The Skulls. Gary Scott Thompson wrote the original script, and the action took place in New York. However, David Ayer and Erik Bergquist were brought to the project and changed most of it. When it comes to Dominic Toretto’s role, the studio initially wanted Timothy Olyphant. Luckily for Diesel, Olyphant had previously starred in a car-related film, Gone in 60 Seconds, and declined the role.

Related: David Ayer’s Fast & Furious Script Changes Created A $7.4 Billion Box Office Juggernaut

Producer Neal H. Moritz suggested Vin Diesel after his role in the 2000’s Pitch Black. However, despite him not starring in lead roles yet, Diesel didn’t accept the deal right away, and most of the script had to be rewritten with his notes before he accepted. Jordana Brewster wasn’t the first choice, either, as Mia Toretto was originally written for Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Eliza Dushku. The Fast and the Furious could have been a very different film, but the final result is arguably the better version of the project.

7 Fast & Furious 2 With Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto
The Second Movie Gives Brian A New Partner
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto with Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibbons from 2 Fast 2 Furious

Vin Diesel didn’t return for 2 Fast 2 Furious, even though the first installment helped launch his career. Although he was reportedly offered $25 million to reprise his role, he didn’t sign on for the sequel, because he didn’t feel like the film needed one and didn’t like the script. 2 Fast 2 Furious went on to introduce Tyrese’s Roman Pearce and put Paul Walker’s Brian in the spotlight. However, had Diesel joined the sequel, it would surely have been massively different from what audiences got. Years later, Diesel confirmed that he would’ve done things differently and fought harder for revisions on the script, as he did with the first one.

6 Tokyo Drift With Toretto As The Main Character
Vin Diesel Only Had a Small Cameo
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto and the Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift's Luke and Han

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is the third installment in the Fast saga. However, it can be considered a standalone as it doesn’t feature any of the previous characters. It introduces Sung Kang as Han Lue, who would go on to reprise his role in 2009’s Fast & Furious. Vin Diesel reprised his role as Dominic Toretto in a very brief cameo at the end of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, though, but that only happened after making a unique deal with Universal Pictures: he wanted the rights to Riddick, the sci-fi action saga for which he wanted to develop a sequel.

Although he has a short cameo at the end of the film, Vin Diesel was originally supposed to star in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The movie’s screenwriter, Chris Morgan, told UPROXX. “Essentially it was Tokyo Drift, but it was with Vin, and his character kind of had to go out and learn drifting. And there was a murder he had to solve. … And they said, ‘Nah, can’t do that. We have to do high school.’” Luckily, they didn’t go for that idea, and the franchise lived on, with Diesel and the rest of the cast returning for the fourth one. Tokyo Drift would be “retconned back” into the franchise during Fast & Furious 6’s post-credits scene.

5 Vin Diesel’s Solo Dominic Toretto Movie
Fast & Furious Was Supposed To Be Dom’s Movie
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in Fast & Furious

Vin Diesel is the star of the Fast & Furious franchise, but he almost had his solo movie, too. Diesel’s career only evolved after The Fast And The Furious, and he made his way back to Dom Toretto with a cameo in 2006’s The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift. Diesel would fully return to the role and reunite with the original cast for 2009’s Fast & Furious. However, before the 2009 film reunited the original crew, it was supposed to be a solo Dominic Toretto movie. Considering how solid Fast & Furious (2009) was, and how it reignited the franchise, it’s good that a solo Toretto film didn’t happen during that time.

4 Hobbs & Shaw 2
The Sequel With Dwayne Johnson And Jason Statham Is Long In The Works

Hobbs & Shaw introduced the franchise’s antiheroes, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), giving them their spin-off film in 2019. The spin-off was a success, making $760 million at the box office with a $200 million budget. Naturally, Universal greenlit a sequel, but it never materialized. The movie was supposed to take the two action stars on more adventures, but it’s unlikely it will happen now.

Related: Hobbs & Shaw 2: Confirmation, Dwayne Johnson’s Fast Saga Plans & Everything We Know

Hobbs & Shaw 2 has been in active development since November 2021, but there are not many details available. The latest updates indicate that the next Hobbs movie will not be a sequel to Hobbs & Shaw. Instead, it will be a Dwayne Johnson solo Fast & Furious film building up from Fast X’s ending. Despite his differences with Vin Diesel, The Rock reprised his role in Fast X in a post-credits scene, setting up his solo future in the franchise.

3 The Original Furious 7
Paul Walker’s Tragic Death Called For Many Changes

Furious 7 picks up after the events of Fast & Furious 6 and mixes with Tokyo Drift, with Lucas Black reprising his role as Sean Boswell. After appearing in the credits scene of Fast & Furious 6, Jason Statham has a bigger role in the movie. The film also marks Paul Walker’s last acting credit, as he passed away during filming. Universal put the movie on hold, and, although Furious 7 was almost canceled, the filmmakers were able to reshoot and rewrite the film. For the remaining scenes in the movie, Paul Walker’s brothers, Cody and Caleb, acted as stand-ins for Brian’s scenes. Later, they used CGI to recreate Paul Walker’s face.

2 Fast X as the Series’ Ending
Fast X Was Supposed To Tie All Lose Ends
Cipher in Fast 9 and the poster for Furious X

The Fast saga had been hinting at “one last ride” for a while, although there is no certain end in sight. It was all supposed to end with Fast X, which would tie all loose ends. Later, the project evolved into a two-part finale. Justin Lin was supposed to direct both films but exited Fast X due to creative differences. With Dwayne Johnson’s new Fast & Furious spinoff in development, it’s clear that Fast X is no longer really the end of the franchise. It also remains to be seen whether Fast & Furious 12 will happen as, despite what Vin Diesel has hinted at, a new film in the main saga after Fast X, Part 2 has yet to be confirmed.

1 All-Female Fast & Furious Spin-Off
A Project Long In The Works
Gisele, Cipher, and Letty in Fast & Furious

In 2019, Vin Diesel teased an all-female spin-off for the Fast & Furious franchise. Nicole Perlman, Lindsey Beer, and Geneva Robertson-Dworet were tied to the project for the script, and the timeline suggested it would come out after Fast 9. That hasn’t happened yet, but the project isn’t canceled, so it might happen eventually. Still, there’s no certainty about it. It’s unclear which Fast & Furious characters would be part of the movie, but Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tess (Brie Larson), Gisele (Gal Gadot), and Cipher (Charlize Theron) would likely be part of it.

Sources: UPROXX

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