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‘Fast & Furious’ Sequels Released on DVDs! Here’s Why Vin Diesel Is its Secret Weapon

One sign that the Fast & Furious franchise is going stronger than ever is the still-untitled ninth installment that will be released next year.

While the first-ever spin-off Hobbs & Shaw, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, gave a different approach through some of the characters, fans are surely excited, too, to see the next film that will yet again feature Dominic, Letty, Mia, Roman, and Tej as a family.

However, you might be surprised to know that a lot of films under this highly successful universe weren’t supposed to happen, so thanks to Vin Diesel who became instrumental in making these movies happen.

Downhill

Fast & Furious 9 is seeing light in 2020 and despite all the controversies surrounding the films and the spin-off, the franchise has come a long way since it first graced the big screens in 2001.

That was largely thanks to Vin, who plays Dominic Toretto in the films. The first movie, which saw Michelle Rodriguez as Leticia Ortiz, Jordana Brewster (Mia Toretto), and Paul Walker (Brian O’Conner), raked in $207.3 million globally.

Michelle Rodriguez is one of the original cast members of the franchise

The sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious, meanwhile, topped the first figure with $236.4 million worldwide sales. Interestingly, the studio dropped other original cast members sans for the late Paul and added Ludacris as Tej Parker and Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce into the mix.

The next of the series of films would prove that the interruption in creativity can affect how people perceived the franchise.

By the release of Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift in 2006, where the actors in the first two installments were altogether dropped, it proved to be lackluster after amassing only $158.5 million.

The third film didn’t just leave out all the original cast but also changed the vibe as it focused on the story of Sean Boswell, played by Lucas Black.

The third film focused on Lucas Black’s Sean Boswell

So despite Vin’s cameo at the end of the movie, it generally didn’t sit well with the audience. Presumably, the flop happened too because the picture didn’t feel connected with the first two under the franchise or that there were just no big names on the cast.

Secret Weapon

At the time, Universal execs were thinking of releasing the sequels on DVD. Former co-president of production Jeffrey Kirschenbaum admitted they didn’t know what to do with it. So what could have been the saving grace?

It is Vin, whose brief appearance by the end of Tokyo Drift proved to help get the audience’s attention. So what the studio did was to give the actor some creative control by making him a producer.

When he was on board once more, Vin became very hands-on, carefully choosing songs as soundtracks and structuring the story. The studio decided to bring back the old Fast & Furious vibe by focusing more on heists than drag racing.

The fourth films focused on the friendship of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel’s characters

The action star is practically the face of the franchise and their decision to delve on Dom and Brian’s friendship in the fourth film rendered useful to garner big money.

Social Media Campaign

The Fast & Furious may also be fan-favorite because it has a sense of universality. It has diverse cast members and succeeding films would take place in different parts of the world.

Apart from these, Universal has tapped onto the social media game by investing big in their campaigns, the biggest in the company’s history is for the sixth installment, which had 34 million followers on Facebook at the time.

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