FAST & FURIOUS 8
THROUGH THE STREETS of Tokyo? Check. Off a bridge in Brazil? Check. From the top of one Dubai skyscraper to the top of another? Doublecheck. Could it be that after seven nitro-blasted movies, the Fast & Furious franchise is running out of places at which to throw fast cars? Hell no, says the director of the new one. “Our goal at the outset was to figure out, ‘How do we top 7?’” says F. Gary Gray. “The last Fast was amazing, in terms of the stunts, the action and the set-pieces. But we have a few surprises, you know. Cuba is one of them.”
The start of Fast & Furious 8 sees Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) finally enjoying their long-delayed honeymoon. Having picked Havana as their destination, they are, of course, living their romantic break a quarter-mile at a time. “We open with a street race,” reveals Gray. “It’s all about going back to the basics, and where better to do it than in a place with hardcore American muscle cars from 60 years ago? Very quickly Dom is involved in an amazing chase through the city and off the beach and down the Malecón. We’ve made history there by bringing the first helicopter into Havana. The locals crowded around the monitors to see their city from the air for the first time.”
After celebrating with Cuban cigars (“Don’t tell my doctor, but I smoked one every day,” laughs Gray), Team Fast headed to their other locations, which include Iceland and, intriguingly, the not-famous-for-its-speedy-traffic New York. Is it safe to assume that Dom, the gang and their new nemesis, hacker Cipher (Charlize Theron), won’t be stopping at red lights? “Yeah, we didn’t want the Lord Of The Rings version, with them going 35 miles an hour,” says the director. “Pulling off high-speed chases in the city of Manhattan — that’s a feat in itself. It’s pretty insane what we’ve been able to do. To shoot action in places like Times Square has always been somewhat impossible... but we’ve made it possible.” The City That Never Sleeps is about to become The City That Never Brakes.
Vin Diesel returns as premier petrolhead Dom Toretto. Below: Team Fast & Furious hit Cuba.