‘Fast & Furious’ May Have a Secret Installment in the Franchise

by Josh Lanier

Most Fast & Furious fans would say the series kicked off when an undercover cop infiltrated underground street racers to stop a group of truck hijackers. But only true Fasties, which is what I’m calling F&F fans, know the franchise started with a group of honor roll students who killed their friend. Well, sort of.

Canonically, the 2001 Fast & Furious with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel is the first entry into the series. But there is a little-known crime drama that some of the most important figures in the franchise say kicked off the story, PopCulture points out. That movie is Better Luck Tomorrow.

The movie is loosely based on the true story of Stuart Tay. Tay was part of a group of five high California school students that planned a robbery of a computer parts supplier in 1992. The group turned on each other before the robbery. The story made headlines because the teens were all set to go to Ivy League and elite colleges.

Justin Lin wrote and directed the 2002 and movie it stars Sung Kang. You math wizards probably noticed that 2002 comes after 2001. But Lin, who also directed five Fast & Furious sequels, considers Better Luck Tomorrow a prequel. That’s because Sung Kang appears in the movie as Han Lue, his character in Fast & Furious.

Lin said he became obsessed with the character of Han Lue and loved the way Kang played him when they made Better Luck Tomorrow. So, when he directed Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift, the third film in the series, he brought the character and actor along for the ride. Kang reprised the role in the movie, and he became a staple in the series for several movies after. Kang also sees Better Luck Tomorrow as a prequel.

Lin laid out his head cannon to Entertainment Weekly of how Han made the jump from honor student killer to Japanese drift racing legend.

Fast & Furious 10 Delayed until 2023

Sorry, Fasties, but you’re going to have to wait a little longer for the next installment in the series. The coronavirus pandemic pushed back producers’ plans for Fast 9, and that is having repercussions on the final two movies in the franchise.

The studio delayed the release of Fast & Furious 10 until May 2023. Fast & Furious 11, which will end the series, now hits theaters in 2024.

Director Justin Lin said they’ve worked out how the series will end and started implementing that plan with Fast 9.

Vin Diesel wants Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to return to the franchise for the final installment. The two had a public falling out on set in 2016. Johnson left the series after starring in a Hobbs & Shaw spin-off film. But Diesel now wants Johnson to return to the family. He posted a public plea to Instagram.

“My little brother Dwayne … the time has come,” he wrote. “The world awaits the finale of Fast 10. As you know, my children refer to you as Uncle Dwayne in my house. There is not a holiday that goes by that they and you don’t send well wishes … but the time has come. Legacy awaits.”