In case you hadn’t heard, it’s Fast and Furious movie season again. The eighth installment in the billion-dollar franchise, The Fate of the Furious, hits theaters this weekend. It will earn hundreds of millions of dollars and melt millions of faces with its partiular brand of car-based super action.
Fate director F. Gary Gray went from rave reviews with Straight Outta Compton to helming what might end up the biggest flick of 2017. Any filmmaker stepping into the Furious franchise is contending with a unique experience; each film is expected to be bigger and more insane than the last. That means, in this case, that annihilating Rio with a safe was considered passé two films ago. Gray has to beat parachuting planes from a jet to a road. He has the highest of bars to clear, is what we’re saying.
Vulture conducted a fascinating new interview with Gray about how he’s going to hit the mark that departed director Justin Lin set. Let’s get right to the good part: All those lovely cars chasing each other around before spectacularly crashing.
Gray knew from the outset that it was a go big or go home situation – Fate of the Furious features a car chase that includes a freaking submarine – and he refused to give in to CGI tricks when he could have the genuine article. At one point he saw video of a cool new tank racing through an icy landscape and demanded the chance to include it in the movie. His line producer was, initially, quite skeptical.
”He’s like, ‘Ah, that’s impossible, you’ve got to call the Department of Defense, and the way we would have to shoot it, we would have to have three. We only have access to one, but we need three in order to shoot this sequence. And then we have to ship it to Iceland. So it’s impossible.’ And I said, ‘Okay, well, we’re going to have to figure that out. Make it possible.’ And they made it possible.”
The auto insanity did not stop with the tank. The film features real Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Jaguars and more getting absolutely demolished as part of the franchise’s legendary commitment to stunts. A producer concerned with the film’s budget grew worried about buying a Lamborghini just to submerge it in water, but Gray had the perfect comeback for that.
“Listen, we have a submarine. We’re already beyond the boundaries of reason. Let’s have some fun with it.”
At this point, “we’re already beyond the boundaries of reason” could be the tagline for the whole franchise.
For more on Gray’s time making the fim, including details of a scene in which a whole fleet of cars was crashed at once, go check out the full interview. The Fate of the Furious is in theaters Friday.