SPEED­ING TO­WARD THE FU­TURE

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

Not only does the se­ries boast one of the most racially di­verse casts in block­buster his­tory, the team is al­ways look­ing at the evo­lu­tion of the story with an eye for in­ter­na­tional tal­ents like In­done­sian ac­tor Joe Taslim (fea­tured in "Fast & Fu­ri­ous 6") and Thai mar­tial artist Tony Jaa (fea­tured in "Fu­ri­ous 7"). "It does help," said Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Pres­i­dent of In­ter­na­tional Dis­tri­bu­tion Dun­can Clark, who saw an in­crease in earn­ings from Brazil af­ter the coun­try was fea­tured in "Fast Five." He hopes the same will be true for Abu Dhabi, a key set­ting in the lat­est movie.

In­deed, most in­ter­na­tional mar­kets have grown steadily over the past few films, but none can match the power of main­land China, which has be­come "a tremen­dous el­e­va­tion for all films now," said Clark. China con­trib­uted US$53.6 mil­lion of the sixth film's to­tal rev­enue and all eyes are on the de­but of "Fu­ri­ous 7" there on April 12. For Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios, the se­ries is vi­tally im­por­tant to its over­all busi­ness and a wor­thy com­peti­tor to the su­per­hero fare of other stu­dios. "At this point we be­lieve we can com­pete with any­body. We saw a huge op­por­tu­nity to be the first movie of the early sum­mer and then have three weeks all to our­selves," said Moritz.

As for what's next, Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Chair Donna Lan­g­ley has said that there are at least three more films in the se­ries. Right now, though, they're just glad "Fu­ri­ous 7" is fi­nally set to open. The film was sup­posed to de­but in July of 2014, but Paul Walker's death in Novem­ber 2013 threw ev­ery­thing for a loop as the team re­grouped to fig­ure out whether or not to com­plete it in his ab­sence, and then how to do it taste­fully. "Hon­estly, this has been the hard­est movie I've ever made," said Moritz, who now looks for­ward to con­tin­u­ing the jour­ney. "We've had talks about what we want to do, but we'll get re­ally se­ri­ous af­ter the re­lease."

Even af­ter seven films, there's still stuff yet to be tried: No "Fast & Fu­ri­ous" film has played in the U. S. in 3D, partly be­cause the fast cuts of the ac­tion

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