Fast & Furious Is Pulling a Reverse MCU — And That's a Good Thing

Splitting up the familia might be just what this franchise needs.

Helen Mirren and Vin Diesel in Fast X
Universal Pictures

It may have been a happy accident when the Fast & Furious saga became a shared cinematic universe, but it’s one the franchise has since embraced with glee. Fast Five brought the once disparate members of Dominic Toretto’s familia under one banner for the very first time. Universal pulled an Avengers-level crossover before Marvel Studios had even assembled its core heroes — and now the Toretto crew are superheroes in all but name.

Since the crew all came together, they’ve been virtually inseparable. Only once has a member of the family struck out on their own (in 2019’s Hobbs and Shaw spin-off) but with the main saga reaching the end of the road, it may be time for everyone to go their separate ways.

Vin Diesel has actually been planning a series a spinoffs for years now. Diesel told Variety that an all-female spinoff has been in the works since 2017, along with a few others. But lately, he’s been concerned with bringing the Fast franchise to its conclusion, which starts with this year’s Fast X and will (hopefully) end with one more film. “The sooner I deliver the finale, the sooner I can launch all the spinoffs,” Diesel explained.

A female-led Fast spin-off would give the franchise’s underrated characters some much-deserved time to shine.

Universal Pictures

News of a female-led Fast film had fans of the saga split right down the middle. Some think it’s high time the franchise gave its female leads the spotlight they deserve — and after all the female characters that Fast X introduced (and reintroduced), it’s clear that the Fast braintrust feels the same way. But others feel like a spinoff would only prolong the inevitable: the Fast films have been running on fumes for years now. Many expected the saga to end after the death of mainstay Paul Walker; Furious 7 would have been the perfect conclusion to a franchise built on family. The saga, however, has been chugging along ever since, and growing more bloated with each installment.

One of the prevailing themes throughout the Fast films has been the power of grief. It has the capacity to unite a motley batch of characters with little in common, save their need for speed. But rather than honoring the very premise that once gave this franchise meaning, Diesel and co. chose to the go the other way.

Death has become an afterthought in the Fast & Furious world. The films bring new characters in to fill the void that others left behind — but then departed characters miraculously return, making these latest adventures needlessly overcrowded.

The Fast saga clearly have no idea what to do with fan favorites once they’re brought back from the dead. Spin-offs could help change that.

Universal Pictures

Han’s (Sung Kang) baffling resurrection in F9 pleased a lot of fans, but the sheer amount of characters in Fast X forced him to fight a losing battle for screen time. Fast X was clearly Universal’s attempt at Avengers: Infinity War — and while it works in some ways, this is like the fifth Avengers movie in a row. Not even Marvel is making Avengers movies back to back.

The Fast sandbox is clearly getting way too full, but breaking up the familia could be just the boost this franchise needs. Characters like Han and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) are wasted within the core dynamic; a solo adventure could not only expand the world of the franchise, but give these heroes some much-needed breathing room. And in a way, this could bring the Fast saga back to its roots.

It all began with a series of seemingly unrelated films, all set in the shared world of street racing and petty theft. The Fast spin-offs will likely be just as outlandish as Hobbs and Shaw (for anyone who forgot, the duo were battling super soldiers and omniscient AI) — but a smaller crew will do wonders in bringing this series back to earth.

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