The Fast and the Furious saga is soon coming to an end after a staggering nine films. Pretty much every film in the series has been a box office smash, and this one will likely be no different. After 20 years and almost 10 films, they’ve had nothing but blockbusters every time out. But did you know the series almost had an entirely different name altogether?
Let’s take a closer look at what The Fast and the Furious was almost called, why producers made the change, and what fans of the series can expect with this latest installment.
‘The Fast and the Furious’ was an unlikely franchise
Released in 2001, The Fast and the Furious was an action film that amped up the adrenaline and cars. The film starred Paul Walker as an undercover FBI agent named Brian O’Connor sent to infiltrate the world of underground street racing in Los Angeles.
He eventually gets close to a man named Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel. He falls in love with Dom’s sister and comes to find out Dom is the leader of a gang of highway thieves. In the end, he lets Dom get away. From there, the series took some unexpected turns.
Two sequels followed: 2 Fast 2 Furious, which focused on O’Connor and Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce. A third film subtitled Tokyo Drift, featured all-new characters with Diesel returning for a quick cameo.
From there, Diesel and Walker returned. The series turned into an ensemble cast in which the action sequences and stunts became more over the top with each passing scene. Megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joined the crew in Fast Five with Jason Statham also later coming on board as a villain turned antihero. Walker’s tragic death didn’t stop the series, and it will culminate with the ninth film.
The cheesy titles ‘Fast and the Furious’ nearly had
According to Insider, the original 2001 film nearly had a different title. It was initially called Redline. Producer Neal Moritz said a few other titles were thrown around, each one worse than the last. Those titles included:
- Street Wars
- Race Wars
- Racer X
Moritz called the titles “cheesy” and found the actual name when watching a film about a Hollywood legend:
“I went to watch a documentary on [producer] Roger Corman, who I’ve known since I was a kid, and there was a little section on a movie he’d made called ‘The Fast and the Furious.’ I thought, ‘That’s the title of this movie!'”
The film finally had a title, and with that, a franchise was born.
What fans can expect from the last ‘Fast and the Furious’ film
According to IMDb, the final film is called F9: The Fast Saga. Returning are Diesel, Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. Johnson is not in this installment, as he and Statham appeared in a spinoff series called Hobbs and Shaw.
Charlize Theron’s villainous character known as Cipher will return. The film’s main antagonist will be portrayed by former WWE superstar John Cena. He plays Dom’s younger brother and will attempt to take him down while working alongside Cipher.
What are fans saying so far? Out of 16,000 ratings on IMDB, the film currently has a score of 5.5 stars out of 10. It’s difficult to tell where this will fall with respect to the other films in the series.
One thing is for sure, however: the movies are a lot more successful than they would have been had the first film been called Racer X. Diesel and the rest of the crew can thank Moritz for coming up with a much catchier name.