WARNING: This does contain spoilers. So if you are a fan of the Fast and Furious movies and aren't interested in spoilers, then I suggest you don't read this thread!
Fast and Furious 7 is back in production and on track for its April 10, 2015 release date, and we've gotten a first look at one quintessentially Fast sequence, as well as several minutes of footage from the film.
Production was put on hold following Paul Walker's tragic death in November, of course, and director James Wan and writer Chris Morgan spent the next several months working to craft a graceful way to "retire" Walker's character. Brian O’Connor, from the franchise. Recent reports indicate that the production will use a combination of CGI and body doubles to help to complete Walker's remaining scenes.
The first thing that became very clear from the footage that was screened today is that the studio is not shying away from Walker's presence in the film. He and Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto are, as ever, front and center of their ragtag family of mechanics, precision drivers, and thieves.
It feels as though - as his fellow cast members have been saying - the intention is to honor Walker to the best of their ability and include him in the final film as much as they are able to. This is a Fast and Furious film, though, and the tone is just as outlandish, fun-filled, and yes, ludicrous (I did intend that pun, sadly) as you would imagine.
The sequence that we screened featured Dom and his crew skydiving out of a plane and landing on a rocky terrain. To be clear, they were skydiving while driving, meaning they drove out of a plane with parachutes attached to their cars and then landed on the road where they raced away. As you do.
Vin Diesel and Walker are featured heavily in the footage screened.
The scene featured the usual banter between Ludacris' Tej and Tyrese Gibson's Rome (a nervous Roman had to be forcefully ejected from the aircraft), trash talking, speechifying, and one massive and hilariously unrealistic stunt. In short, it's the franchise we know.
We also were treated to glimpses of Jason Statham's villain Ian Shaw sporting what looked to be a grenade launcher in the midst of a swanky soiree filled with the usual array of lovely and lethal ladies, Kurt Russell maniacally laughing (always a welcome addition to any action film), and Michelle Rodriguez going toe-to-toe with UFC champ Ronda Rousey in an elaborate hand-to-hand fight.
We'll be talking some more about what we saw over the next couple of days. For now, we'll just say that by all appearances, Fast isn't toning down the over-the-top, in it for the family, but also for the fun, full-throttle shenanigans that audiences have grown to love.