'Fast & Furious 8' May Be First Hollywood Studio Film to Shoot in Cuba in 50 Years

With diplomatic tensions eased between the U.S. and Cuba, studios are eager to film in the untapped exotic locale.


Now that political tensions between the United States and Cuba have eased up for the first time in nearly half a century, many people asked what will change because of America’s new friendly policy with the communist-run island nation.

Besides diplomatic relations and the potential for tourism between the former political foes, Hollywood was also chomping at the bit to come knocking on Havana’s door. But instead of a polite knock, it looks like the door will be flattened by a suped-up Dodge Charger driven by Vin Diesel.

An exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter has announced that the filmmakers behind the globetrotting Fast & Furious franchise are looking to shoot the series’ eighth installment in Cuba. Director F. Gary Gray recently returned from a location-scouting trip in Cuba, which is famously only 90 miles south of the southernmost point in the United States.

Universal Pictures has allegedly filed papers with both governments to allow the production to legally shoot the movie there. If approved, it will be the first Hollywood studio film to shoot on location in Cuba since the diplomatic embargo was set between the U.S. and Cuba since the ‘60s (Famous scenes in The Godfather II that took place in Cuba were actually shot in the Dominican Republic).

THR mentions that a few American TV shows have already made their mark on Cuba including a particular episode of Conan and an upcoming episode of the Showtime series House of Lies. An independent movie production for a movie called Papa starring Giovanni Ribisi about a journalist visiting famed author Ernest Hemingway also shot in Cuba in 2014.

But Furious 8 isn’t some indie movie about a writer you skipped over in high school English class. It’s a gigantic multi-billion dollar franchise with hundreds of crew members that will be a new chapter in the cinematic history of the formerly cut-off island country.

The franchise has already been to Los Angeles, Rio, Tokyo, London, Abu Dhabi, and whole bunch of other thankfully paved locales, so it makes sense that they’d want to have street races in the one place no studio has been legally allowed to film street races before.

Start your engines, Furious 8 is slated to be released on April 14, 2017.

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