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Fast & Furious: 10 facts to celebrate 15 years

The original Fast & Furious film has just turned 15 in the UK. We rounded up ten facts to help you forget the fact you probably feel really old right now.

Love or hate the Fast & Furious movies, there is no disputing they helped create a generation of petrolheads and car modders who wanted to make their Citroen Saxo a bit different.

Okay so the allure of neons has probably waned a bit, but the franchise, too, has matured over the years. The original movie awash with corny lines and terrible acting (and we loved it anyway), but some of the later efforts went deeper than the trademark car chases and huge explosions.

15 years on since the original Fast & Furious launched in the UK and the films still make obscene amounts of money at the box office so we would be anything but surprised if Vin Diesel and crew are still going for another 15. So raise that Corona and enjoy some film-based trivia.

1) One of the movie songs has something in common with Psy

Paul Walker’s death at the age of 40 gave Furious 7 a rather tragic undertone, mainly because the world had lost a genuinely nice bloke who loved cars but partly because he had been there since the start. No wonder, then, Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again featuring Charlie Puth is the second song to smash the two billion views barrier on YouTube ─ a feat first achieved by Psy’s Gangnam Style.

2) Paul Walker died before Furious 7 was finished

The latest film, Furious 7 or Fast & Furious 7 depending on your region, was overshadowed by the death of a veteran’s of the series, Paul Walker, who was killed while travelling as passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT. Speed was ruled as the only cause of the accident, which took place on the 30th of November, 2013. Walker’s wife tried to blame Porsche for a lack of safety features in the supercar (which was famously described by Jeremy Clarkson as “brutal” and “savage”), but a judge said there was no “competent evidence to suggest any wrongdoing on the part of the defendant”. Rest in peace.

3) The chronological order of the films may blow your mind

Seven films, all in the right order surely (and don’t call me Shirley)? Nope. Because of Han Seoul-Oh’s death (originally one of Dominoc Toretto’s crew who drove a Mazda RX7 built by Veilside), Furious 7 is actually a direct sequel to The Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift. Meanwhile the fourth film through to the sixth are prequels. Believe it or not, this is the actual order:

1) The Fast and the Furious – June 22, 2001
2) 2 Fast 2 Furious – June 6, 2003
3) Fast & Furious – April 3, 2009
4) Fast Five – April 20, 2011
5) Fast & Furious 6 – May 24, 2013
6) The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift – June 16, 2006
7) Furious 7 – April 3, 2015

4) Furious 7 had an alternate ending

That tear-inducing finale of Furious 7 ─ the montage of Paul Walker from all films ─ was a fitting send-off for the star (real men cry, okay), but director James Wan obviously had different ideas before the accident happened. In an interview with Collider, Wan said: “The original ending of Furious 7 was setting up, you know, the bigger world of where the Fast and Furious franchise could go into. And that’s obviously very smart of them to think so. But when the tragedy happened, all of that became irrelevant. So it did not matter anymore, all of that stuff. And to the studio’s credit, they did not push for that. They realized how important it was to make a movie that finishes and that just outright is a tribute to Paul Walker. So I give them a lot of credit for being bigger than that and going along with this ending that is the right ending to go with.” Spoiler alert: the video above is of the ACTUAL ending.

5) Eminem could have played Brian O-Conner

It is hard to imagine anyone but Walker in the role of Brian O’Conner, and yet there were at least three stars who could have taken the role. We say actors and not stars deliberately because Eminem was one of them and, although rather believable in 8 Mile, he is better known for his very sweary rap career. Christian Bale (of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and American Psycho fame) and Mark Wahlberg (The Other Guys, The Departed, Three Kings) were also considered.

6) Rappers and singers make a lot of cameos

You will probably recognise Ludacris, but what about other cameos from famous rappers and singers? Ja Rule (real name Jeff Atkins) was in the original movie, while Bow Wow was in Tokyo Drift. Iggy Azalea appeared in Furious 7 and Rita Ora was in Fast & Furious 6 to name a couple more.

7) It cheated a bit on the locations

You know that ridiculous chase scene in Fast Five through the streets of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil? Yeah, it was actually filmed in San Juan in Puerto Rico ─ some 3,200 miles (5,200 kilometres) away. Some of the roads in the film were also used in the 2010 action movie, The Losers. Fast Five also used the Mojave Desert in California, just to add to the geographical confusion.

8) That famous Nissan Skyline GT-R was up for serious money

You know that legendary Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 driven by O’Conner? The one we all secretly wanted to own but could never afford (and probably still can’t ─ unmodified examples are rare and expensive)? It went up for auction and was expected to fetch more than £1million. The 550bhp car was one of 25 used in filming, although many were not actually complete cars. Some say claim Walker was the actual owner of the car, but this was never officially confirmed to our knowledge.

9) The runway in Fast & Furious 6 was unrealistically long

We all love a good airplane-based action sequence but the sheer length of the runway used in Fast & Furious 6 did somewhat detract from the action. Some of you will argue the scene was actually in real-time, with all bits stitched together in series hence why it goes on for so long. Anyway, Vulture spent some time on a calculator and worked out the runway would be 28.829 miles in length. Considering the longest runway in the British Isles is at Heathrow and measures 3,901 metres, we are going to call bull****.

10) An eighth film is on the way

Yep, there will be yet another movie from the Fast & Furious franchise. Fast 8, as it will be known, is scheduled to arrive on the 14th of April, 2017. Expect lots of soppy romance, plot complexity and a subtle look at the effects of feminism on society. Just kidding!

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