paul walker and vin diesel filming fast and the furious

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It’s that time again. And this time, it’s bigger, more explosive and more important than ever.

Today (April 3), the seventh installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise is being released nationwide, and because it’s been just shy of two years since the last chapter in the saga, we’ve put together a comprehensive recap of the entire narrative, starting way back in 2001.

This movie is particularly poignant for the cast, crew and fans of the franchise because it’s the first time, except Tokyo Drift, in which actor Paul Walker (Brian O’Conner) hasn’t been involved in its entirety.

Back in late November of 2013, the world was stunned when we learned that Walker had tragically passed away after being involved in a fatal car accident in Santa Clarita, Calif. At the time, filming for Furious 7 was already underway but was rightfully put on hold to allow time for grieving and script rewrites.

Some time later, the cast and crew reconvened, knowing that it was right to finish the film in honor of Paul and his monumental contributions to Universal Pictures’ biggest franchise of all time. The production team installed Paul’s brothers Caleb and Cody to help finish off with his final scenes, along with a little bit of help from computer-generated imagery.

Without further adieu, here’s The Urban Daily’s comprehensive recap of the entire Fast and the Furious franchise.

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Directed By: Rob Cohen

Screenplay By: Gary Scott Thompson, Erik Bergquist, David Ayer

Main Characters:

  • Brian O’Conner
  • Dominic Toretto
  • Letty Ortiz
  • Mia Toretto
  • Vince

Close to 15 years ago, we were introduced to Brian, Dom and the Toretto clan. Back then, Brian was working as an undercover LAPD officer assigned to tackle and apprehend a gaggle of criminals responsible for a recent hijacking. On his pursuit, Brian formed a relationship with Dominic Toretto and after gaining respect from Dom, as well as hooking up with his sister Mia, earned his way in. The crew later found out that Brian is working undercover, however, torn between his love and respect for Dom and the Toretto family, Brian decides to let Dom run, in lieu of arresting him.

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Directed By: John Singleton

Screenplay By: Michael Brandt and Derek Haas

Main Characters:

  • Brian O’Conner
  • Roman Pearce
  • Tej Parker

Just two years after Dom drove off into the sunset, the second chapter of the franchise was released. This time, Brian hooks up with his old friend Roman Pearce (“only my homeboys call me Rome”). The pair are employed by the LAPD to crack down on the powerful Miami drug lord, Carter Verone. The reward? A complete expunge of their extensive criminal records. During the movie, we’re also introduced to well-respected Miami street racing organizer and garage owner, Tej Parker. It is with his help and local connections that Brian and Rome are able to gain the respect and power to bring down Verone.

Fast & Furious (2009)

Directed By: Justin Lin

Screenplay By: Chris Morgan

Main Characters:

  • Brian O’Conner
  • Dominic Toretto
  • Letty Ortiz
  • Mia Toretto
  • Han Seoul-Oh
  • Tego Leo
  • Rico Santos
  • Gisele Yashar

After some time away, Dom and his revamped crew decided to rev their engines up again and make some serious cash. While hijacking fuel tankers in the Dominican Republic, Dom gets word that the police are hot on his tail. With this in mind, he slips away during the night, leaving his girlfriend Letty behind for her own safety and freedom. Dom heads to Panama City in an attempt to avoid getting caught by the police but while he’s there, Dom gets a call from his sister Mia telling him that Letty had been murdered after being involved in a car crash. Understandably incensed by the situation, Dom sets out to get revenge on Letty’s killer.

Brian, on the other hand is now working for the F.B.I., attempting to track down drug lord Arturo Braga. It turns out both Dom and Brian are after the same guy, bringing them together once again. Although they link up with the same goal in mind, it’s clear they have differing motives. After many rounds of bullets and lots of bloodshed, the pair are successful in bringing Braga down. In exchange for Dom’s efforts, Brian pleads for his criminal record to be cleared, however, the judge doesn’t view it the same light, noting that two wrongs don’t make a right. Dom is subsequently sentenced to 25 years to life… but, he never makes it to the prison gates.

Fast Five (2011)

Directed By: Justin Lin

Screenplay By: Chris Morgan

Main Characters:

  • Brian O’Conner
  • Dominic Toretto
  • Mia Toretto
  • Roman Pearce
  • Tej Parker
  • Luke Hobbs
  • Vince
  • Han Seoul-Oh
  • Tego Leo
  • Rico Santos
  • Gisele Yashar

Fast Five picks up right where the fourth installment ended. With Dom on his way to serving life in prison, the crew hunt down the bus transporting him, stopping it before it reaches its final destination. After successfully preventing their frontman from a miserable life behind bars, the crew is reunited. Not long afterwards, the Toretto clan heads to Rio de Janeiro to escape from the U.S. authorities. On arrival, the crew immerses itself into doing what it does best – stealing cars, only this time they chose to steal from the wrong guy. Unbeknown to them, one of the stolen cars contains a data chip housing valuable details of Hernan Reyes (a crime lord based in Rio). Reyes soon catches Brian and Dom, but the duo manages to flee the scene before giving away any answers regarding the chip’s location. They head back to their safe house and upon examination, find out that the chip includes the locations of $100 million in cash.

Dom: “We’re gonna steal it all.”

Brian: “You realize we’re talking about going up against the most powerful guy in all of Rio?”

Dom: “Yes, we are.”

Brian: “Then we’re gonna need a team.”

Enter Roman, Tej, Han, Tego Leo, Rico Santos, Gisele Yashar. Oh, yes. Things just got interesting.

Luke Hobbs, a notorious DSS agent, is sent in from the U.S. to bring down the crew for the crimes committed pertaining to Dom’s escape from prison. When he eventually catches up with them, Hobbs makes the arrests and begins transporting them to the airport for extradition back to United States. While on the road, Hobbs’ convey is ambushed by Reyes’ men, who kill various members of Hobbs’ team. With nowhere left to turn, Elena Nevas (Hobbs’ right hand) takes the handcuffs off Dom and his crew who start to retaliate against the ambush, in turn saving Hobbs’ life. After finding mutual ground, the two sides strike a deal, agreeing to take down Reyes together. In thanks, Hobbs gives the Toretto collective 24 hours to run before he comes looking for them.

Fade to black.

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Directed By: Justin Lin

Screenplay By: Chris Morgan

Main Characters:

  • Brian O’Conner
  • Dominic Toretto
  • Letty Ortiz
  • Mia Toretto
  • Roman Pearce
  • Tej Parker
  • Luke Hobbs
  • Han Seoul-Oh
  • Gisele Yashar
  • Deckard Shaw

The cat and mouse chase continues in the sixth installment. After Hobbs gives the crew 24 hours grace to flee the scene at the end of Fast Five, he finally catches up with Dom and asks for his help on a new job. Understandably, Dom is hesitant to get involved. However, he’s soon persuaded after Hobbs shows him a picture of his supposed long-dead girlfriend, Letty. Dom rallies up the crew, and in return for their help, Hobbs offers them all full amnesty for their past crimes, meaning they can return to the U.S. without being hunted by law enforcement.

After blowing up a Russian military convoy, Hobbs and co. travel to London to try and track the man responsible. This time around, the target is former British Special Forces solider, Owen Shaw. Following a somewhat taxing and bullet-heavy fight across the sprawls of London, the crew takes down Shaw in a climaxing scene that would have had many fans thinking it was the end for Dom, but, of course, it wasn’t. During the film’s final scene, Dom receives a call from Owen Shaw’s brother, saying, “You don’t know me. But you’re about to.” The sons of London have followed them home.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

Directed By: Justin Lin

Screenplay By: Chris Morgan

Main Characters:

  • Sean Boswell
  • Dominic Toretto
  • Han Seoul-Oh
  • Twinkie

Despite being released in ‘06, the Tokyo Drift installment of the franchise, in terms of series chronology, takes place after the sixth movie. Yes, we know, definitely somewhat confusing if you’re not a diehard buff who hasn’t spent their time researching the plot.

Nevertheless, when Sean Boswell gets busted for street racing in his hometown of Arizona, he is ordered to move to Tokyo to live with his father. While familiarizing himself with the local landscape, Sean meets Twinkie who introduces him to a world he is perhaps too familiar with, street racing, only this time it’s Tokyo style. Sean, with his somewhat arrogant attitude, draws attention from the wrong guy (Takashi, also known as the Drift King, often abbreviated to DK). After learning the ropes of drifting from Han Seoul-Oh, Sean faces off against Takashi in a battle for the prestigious title. Despite defeating Takashi in the ultimate race and being crowned as the new DK, Sean is challenged by an unknown driver in the movie’s closing scene. That driver? None other than Dominic Toretto.

Furious 7 (2015)

Directed By: James Wan

Screenplay By: Chris Morgan

We’ve left the main characters out off this one because it’s somewhat of a spoiler. Nevertheless, after countless hours of watching, everything comes down to this. One last ride. After taking a look at the trailer, it’s definitely got all the makings of yet another edge-of-your seat action thriller.

READ MORE ON THE URBAN DAILY 

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Everything We Know About ‘Furious 7’ Star Nathalie Emmanuel

Vin Diesel Believes ‘Furious 7’ Should Win A Best Picture Oscar

Vin Diesel Names His Daughter Pauline, After His Late Friend Paul Walker

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