Inspired by the enormous success of "Fast Five", it's being reported that Universal is now considering a back-to-back shooting schedule for the next two "Fast and Furious" sequels. Director Justin Lin and screenwriter Chris Morgan, who collaborated on the last three entries, are expected to return for both movies (representing the sixth and seventh installments), which would be designed to share a single storyline.
As noted by LA Times' The Envelope, which broke the story, there are pluses and minuses to shooting two or more films in a series consecutively. While going that route ultimately saves on production costs and avoids the headache of trying to reconvene talent for another movie further down the line, it's also risky in that the studio has already invested a substantial amount of money in the seventh installment whether or not its predecessor proves successful at the box office.
Of course, Universal has good reason to feel confident. Last year's "Fast Five" was the biggest hit in the "Fast and Furious" series yet by a mile, grossing over $620 million worldwide - nearly twice as much 2009's "Fast and Furious", which had been the most commercially successful entry up to that point with over $360 million globally.
Of course, "Five" was also by far the most critically-acclaimed of the series to date, with a surprisingly strong 78% score on Rotten Tomatoes (the first film comes in a distant second on that scale with 52%). Those excellent reviews, in combination with a superb marketing campaign and a plum late-April release date against no real competition, helped turn the film into a bona fide blockbuster.
Universal has pegged a tentative May 24, 2013 release date for the sixth entry, though that could change depending on how smoothly the development process goes.
What do you think of this news? Are you excited for more "F&F" sequels or are you beginning to tire of the franchise? Sound off in the comments!
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