Diesel brings back franchise staple, Toretto, for round 7.

Who better than Toretto himself, Vin Diesel, to reveal the nuances of the latest installment of the Fast and Furious franchise.

In a nutshell, a new villain, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) seeks revenge for the death of his brother.  Of course, he seeks revenge against Toretto and friends!

How does Furious 7 raise the stakes and go to greater heights than other action movies?

The idea that we could even attempt to one up the stunts and action sequences is fun and it’s a rich, rich challenge, but increasing the emotional stakes is what will set this saga apart from any other movie.

Does this movie build on previous Fast and Furious mythology and further develop the world?

In this film, all the events of the previous movies and even some events that the audience is going to get a real joy out of seeing  in this movie that they have never seen before that they know are in the mythology of Fast and Furious. Everything comes together in this movie and questions are answered, new thoughts are proposed, characters are — their identities are unravelled even further.  And, you’ll see, when you watch the movie that themes that have been initiated or themes that have been planted, so to speak, in previous movies, all come full circle here.

Furious 7 returns to the origins of the franchise with the Race Wars. How is that significant?

It reminds us who these guys are.  When you see them at Race Wars you are reminded of where they started in a way and you are reminded of what there initial interests were before they got kind of sucked into the world of global affairs, so to speak and before the became so international.

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Spoiler alert! Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is introduced by killing off Furious mainstay, Han (Sung Kang), a bit extreme! Why go this route?

It was imperative to introduce the next villain in a way that automatically affected you emotionally.  The idea that the villain being introduced in 7 has, in essence, taken something away from you, you as a Fast and Furious fan, who loves all the characters, who loves Han, for you to feel like a villain is being introduced at the same time he is taking away someone you’ve already grown comfortable with, creates an emotional response to the villain that you can’t anticipate.

Jason Statham is the pinnacle of action coolness. How’d he add to Furious 7?

Jason Statham is one of those actors that has always kept it cool and always kept it consistent so he’s a wonderful talent to watch period. We needed a character that represented the location we just lived in for two hours, which is London. Jason Statham did that.  We wanted to get a formidable character but we wanted the character’s formidability to be different than Hobbs’ formidability that we, you know, employed in Five. 

Kurt Russell too?  How cool is that?

It’s so much fun. The chemistry with Kurt Russell was so gratifying and just so much fun to work with, he’s so much fun to work with. You could tell right from the beginning that this was something he was so excited about. and that you could tell from the beginning that there was a pride that he had about being a part of the Fast saga and that there was something precious to him about creating a character that would have such a deep relationship with Dom Toretto.

Ronda Rousey makes an appearance as well. What was it like getting her involved?

I felt like we needed some kind of fun, formidable opponent for Letty, because Letty, now was, her kind of, her superhero status was rising. We wanted someone very Americana … I just love Ronda Rousey, I just think she’s such an angel and I was so happy she was part of it and I knew she was going to have a very special moment.

by Gordon Shelly