Vin Diesel and Paul Walker Popping the Clutch for 'Fast Five'

Looks like Universal is souping up another vehicle for Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. The studio is set to make a fifth installment of the Fast and Furious saga. This announcement isn’t much of a surprise after the last one, which saw Diesel and Walker reunite onscreen, rake in $350 million at the box office worldwide. What is surprising is the title. No longer will be series be “Furious,” now it’s simply “Fast” – as in Fast Five.

The news from Variety, confirms what Vin Diesel had speculated on his Facebook page back in January. He mentioned that Fast & Furious was “chapter one” and that writer Chris Morgan had delivered “Chapter 2 and Chapter 3.”

Justin Lin returns as director having helmed the last two installments (Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious). The story finds the franchise stalwarts Dom (Diesel) and Brian (Walker) as fugitives on the lam being pursued by relentless lawmen. Universal is eying a 2011 release, a decade after the first movie in the series made its debut. At a time when tentpole franchises are undergoing reboots, somehow this series has managed to stay afloat. Just consider Toyko Drift the Halloween: Season of the Witch of the franchise.

The Pulse: By the numbers, Fast & Furious was Universal’s top earner in the States last year with $155 million. In fact, the studio only had two films that crossed the $100 million barrier domestically (the other was Couples Retreat). While the franchise has made the studio a tidy mint, it adds more credence to the fact that the Universal struggles to cultivate films with original screenplays. In fact, in the last three years, the only big hits Universal has had that weren’t based on a comic book or was part of a franchise is the Retreat, Knocked Up, American Gangster, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

Expect the this movie to be just as successful as its predecessor. Which means plenty of dumb action and comedy.

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