The Fast & Furious franchise, like many comic book movie franchises, has the tendency to never really kill off characters. There are exceptions, of course, but as audiences will soon learn in Fast X, no one is really dead. Despite this, Fast X helmer Louis Leterrier went to hilarious lengths when deciding whose tires were out of tread.
In an interview with Collider's Steve Weintraub, Leterrier revealed that he jokingly made the cast of Fast X beg to keep their characters alive in future installments. “The actors had to write letters to beg me to keep their characters alive, and I deemed them worthy. No, spoiler-free obviously, but some were written in the script and then some– Let's say that, you know, because I went deeper than this one movie, I saw further, and I was like, ‘Oh, I know what I want.' And there's some actions and hard, harsh decisions I had to make because I knew what was coming in the next movie,” the filmmaker said.
The future of the Fast & Furious franchise is a bit muddled at the moment — series lead Vin Diesel seemingly confirmed plans to make the finale of the saga into three parts (it was previously reported to be a two-part finale). Should a second and third installment happen in this set of films, we know that Leterrier will be back for at least the first of those, as it was recently confirmed that he's returning for the eleventh installment in the saga.
It's important to note that Louis Leterrier was dealt a tough hand with Fast X. Longtime Fast & Furious director Justin Lin — who co-wrote the script — stepped out of the director's chair during production and remained a producer on the film. Fast & Furious 11 should provide Leterrier the opportunity to realize his own vision for the franchise.
While Leterrier joking about the letters, it's somewhat ironic that so much thought is put into the character deaths in these films. F9 brought back Han (Sung Kang) years after he died, and Fast X also has a wild return. But I guess as they say, no one's ever really gone, and with the power of family, anyone who doesn't make Leterrier's cut can always return down the line.
Fast X will be released on May 19.