29 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About the 'Fast & Furious' Films


Who wanted out, who asked to be a part of the series, and more!

When The Fast and the
was released in 2001, no one could anticipate the worldwide
phenomenon it would eventually become, spawning six sequels (plus two short
films), grossing over $2.38 billion, and making international stars out of Paul
, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster

Of course, with that many films and, at one point, 13
characters in just one film, there’s a lot of backstory and mythology
surrounding the Fast & Furious

NEWS: How 'Furious 7' Honors Paul Walker's Legacy (Even If It's Hard to Watch)

So ahead of the debut of Furious
, take a look back at all the fun facts surrounding the making of the
movie, including who originally wanted out of the first film, the actor who asked
for a role in the franchise after it became a big hit, and the Easter egg that
connects the worlds of Fast & Furious
and Herbie.

Universal Pictures


1. The film series was inspired by a 1998
May Vibe article
on street
racing, “Racer X,” which chronicled the story of Rafael “Racer X” Estevez and
illegal street-racing in New York.

2. The plot of The
Fast and the Furious
is considered to be an unofficial
of Pointe Break starring
Patrick Swayze
and Keanu Reeves.

3. The Fast & Furious
franchise exists in the same universe as Herbie:
Fully Loaded
thanks to an Easter egg shot of Dom’s
rolled-over Charger
in a junkyard scene from the Lindsay Lohan film.

4. Fast & Furious,
Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6 were designed as an internal

5. Starting with Fast
, Universal Studios and longtime screenwriter Chris Morgan transformed
the franchise into a heist
rather than films about racing in order to keep making sequels.

6. The sixth and seventh sequels were originally supposed to
be written
and filmed simultaneously
while also addressing Eva Mendes cameo as Monica
Fuentes at the end of Fast Five.

7. Diesel’s love for Dungeons
& Dragons
led to director Justin Lin to incorporate more of a mythology into the

8. Han Seoul-Oh’s death in the third film means that Furious 7 is a direct
to The Fast and the Furious:
Tokyo Drift
and four through six are prequels. The story order goes:

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

Universal Pictures


9. Christian Bale, Eminem, and Mark Wahlberg were all
considered before Walker was cast as the franchise’s main protagonist, Brian O’Conner.

10. Rodriguez almost quit
the first film
because her character, Letty Ortiz, was supposed to cheat on
Dom with Brian.

11. It has been rumored that Bijou
, Jessica Biel, Kirsten Dunst, Natalie Portman, and Sarah Michelle
auditioned for the role of Mia, which was reportedly written for Eliza
. The part went to Brewster.

12. Both Brewster and Rodriguez didn’t know how
to drive
prior to joining the first film. Both actresses had to get their
licenses in order to join the cast.

13. Tej Parker, who was introduced in 2 Fast 2 Furious, was supposed to be played
by Redman. Ludacris replaced the rapper after scheduling conflicts forced him
to pull out.

14. While Han Seoul-Oh (played by Sung Kang) makes his first
appearance in The Fast and the Furious:
Tokyo Drift
, the character actually originated
in the Asian American indie-drama, Better
Luck Tomorrow

15. Diesel only agreed to make a cameo at the end of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift in
exchange for ownership
of the Chronicles of Riddick

16. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson approached Universal, asking
to be a part of the Fast & Furious
franchise. He joined as Luke Hobbs in Fast

17. The Luke Hobbs character was originally written for Tommy Lee
or Josh Brolin

18. Tyrese Gibson (who plays Roman Pearce) filmed Fast Five and Transformers: Dark of
the Moon
at the same time, forcing him to fly between Atlanta and
Puerto Rico to complete both.

19. Rodriguez had no idea her character was still alive
until she saw the twist ending during a screening
of Fast Five

20. The characters Letty and Brian don’t actually speak
to each other
until Fast &
Furious 6

21. Denzel Washington turned down an unspecified, “big
” in Furious 7.

22. Dame Helen Mirren wants to be a “mad
” in the Fast & Furious

23. A number of cameos have been made by rappers and singers,
including Ja Rule (The Fast and the Furious),
Bow Wow (Tokyo Drift), Don Omar and Tego Calderon (Fast & Furious, Fast FiveRita Ora (Fast & Furious 6), and Iggy Azalea (Furious 7).

Universal Pictures


24. 2 Fast 2 Furious
was directed by John Singleton, the Oscar-nominated director behind Boyz n the Hood and, most recently, an
episode of Empire.

25. The Skyline GT-R
featured in 2 Fast 2 Furious was
actually Walker’s own car.

26. Lin -- director of Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five,
and Fast & Furious 6 -- says that
, who has directed a number of ensemble features, inspired the sixth
film, which featured 13 characters.

27. Rio de Janeiro’s car chase scenes in Fast Five were actually shot in Puerto

28. The scene with Dom smashing
his car
through the nose of a cargo aircraft was originally conceived for Fast & Furious but didn’t make it
into the movie until Fast & Furious 6.

29. Vulture
estimates that the runway in the film had to be 28.829 miles long in order to accommodate
the whole scene. (The longest real-life runway is 7.5 miles long.)

As for the fact that Mirren wants to join the franchise, Diesel has a few ideas of who she could play: