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Fast And Furious 8: Everything We Know

Movies that earn more than $1 billion worldwide tend to produce sequels. As such,Fast and Furious 8 was a no-brainer. 

Yet, the ridiculously lucrative Furious 7 ended with real closure, and raised some burning questions. Can the series continue following the death of Paul Walker? Should the series tell more stories in the lives of these now iconic screen characters, or is it time to let the Fast & Furious crew drive off into the sunset on one of the highest notes in franchise history?

That conversation -- especially in the Fast & Furious fan community -- is ongoing, but at least we have a definitive answer. Vin Diesel recently confirmed that Fast & Furious 8 is happening! But there remain a ton of questions about who will be involved both in front of and behind the camera. Let's dig in to all that we already know about the upcoming Fast & Furious sequel:

When Does Fast 8 Open In Theaters?
Once Universal decided that they'd actually be moving ahead with the next Fast & Furious adventure, they went about circling a release date. They needed enough time to finish off a screenplay, and to find a new director, as Furious 7 helmer James Wan was moving on to Aquaman. More on the replacement in a moment, but Fast 8will open everywhere on April 14, 2017. That means that it will compete against Fox Searchlight's Gifted, but it basically has the weekend to itself... for now.

What Will Fast 8 Be Rated?
We'd have to guess, at this moment, because the movie's deep into production now, but we haven't seen any real footage. However, since all of the movies in the franchise have reached theaters with a PG-13 rating, I'd be stunned if Fast 8 was anything but PG-13, as well.
Fast And Furious 8: Everything We Know
Who Is Directing Fast 8
This is the first major twist when it comes to Fast 8. The gang is moving forward with a bold new director in F. Gary Gray, who recently delivered the critically acclaimedStraight Outta Compton for Universal. While Gray has a few tense thrillers on his resume, including the underrated The Italian Job and A Man Apart with Vin Diesel, he's never helmed a Fast film before. Thankfully, these are such well-oiled machines, they basically run themselves, right? Right?! The Fast series has been a great proving ground for directors, passing the baton to the likes of Justin Lin (Star Trek Beyond) and James Wan (The Conjuring). We can't wait to see what Gray brings to this table.

Which Cast Members Are Coming Back?

Vin Diesel said it best. These aren't his friends. They are family, which is why cast members keep returning, movie after movie, to be part of whatever madness is cooked up on the streets of the next Furious story. The crew found a way to bid farewell to Brian (Paul Walker) at the end of Furious 7. But that doesn't mean the wheels stop turning. We expect practically everyone to be back for Fast 8, starting with Vin Diesel. Outside of 2 Fast, 2 Furious -- the movie that brought Tyrese into the fold -- Diesel has been a part of every Fast chapter, and it won't end here.

In addition to Diesel, Fast & Furious mainstays Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and even Jordana Brewster are rumored to be part of the growing cast. Maybe Dom needs to call his sister, in time of need? Though how she'll enter the fray without Brian's permission will be tricky.

And, of course, The Rock will be back as Hobbs, the one time antagonist who finally saw the error of his ways and stopped tracking Dominic Toretto long enough to join his crew. Hobbs was largely sidelined in Furious 7 after a bone-crunching fight with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). From early photos of The Rock in Iceland -- and behind bars -- we expect him to play a MUCH larger role in this new story.

The Kurt Russell Connection

It bears repeating that Furious 7 always was going to be the start of a new trilogy ofFast films, though that plan was changed once Paul Walker died. James Wanconfirmed a while back that the original ending of Furious 7 would have led to new stories. But the first real hint we got about Fast 8 came when Vin Diesel appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show and revealed that supreme badass Kurt Russell was added to part seven as a tease for what the crew wanted to do in part eight. And Vin spoke in the present tense, saying that Russell's covert character, Mr. Nobody, would be a catalyst for events that would follow through in Fast 8.

Now, Paul Walker likely was going to be part of that adventure, and now will not be. But that doesn't mean the show can't go on, and this story line can be put into place. Seeing as how Mr. Nobody now sees the value of this rag tag band of heroic thieves, you just know that he's going to have a handful of missions lined up that require their automotive expertise. We expect Kurt Russell to be pulling several of the strings behind the scenes when Dom (Vin Diesel) and his "family" get back behind the wheel. But Russell isn't the only powerful figure being introduced to this world.

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