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Fast X Is Bringing Back An Old School Franchise Element And It's About Time

Not many franchises have been lucky enough to last as long as the "Fast and Furious" series. The action movie franchise's popularity has increased at a fairly steady rate ever since its first installment, "The Fast and the Furious," was originally released in 2001, and the series itself has grown and evolved over the years in ways that have been both surprising and welcome.

That said, it looks like this summer's "Fast X" will finally take the series back to its original roots. At least, that's what "Fast X" director Louis Leterrier and franchise newcomer Jason Momoa seemed to tease in a new interview with Total Film. Speaking with the outlet, Leterrier confirmed that "Fast X" will feature street race sequences similar to those that used to be at the center of the franchise. "As a fan, there's some stuff that I really wanted back from the franchise — the street races [were one]," the director said.

Momoa, for his part, teased the film's action elements, noting, "This is full adrenaline... It rules. Riding around cobblestone streets in Rome that have centuries of wear, so when you stop, you slide..." The actor added, "One of our producers was like, 'We're letting him drive through Rome like that?' I was like, 'Yeah, man!'"

For longtime fans of the "Fast and Furious" franchise, Momoa and Leterrier's comments will likely come as welcome news, especially given the fact that "Fast X" is expected to set the stage for the long-running series' conclusion.

Fast X will help bring the Fast and Furious franchise's story full circle

"Fast X" isn't just the latest installment in the "Fast and Furious" franchise. The film is also set to be the penultimate chapter of "The Fast Saga," which includes every "Fast and Furious" movie to date except the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham-led 2019 spin-off, "Hobbs & Shaw." The upcoming film, consequently, promises to bring together different elements of the "Fast and Furious" franchise's history. 

Indeed, not only is it set to feature a cast of both new and returning "Fast and Furious" actors, including Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Sung Kang, Brie Larson, and Rita Moreno, but it will also revolve around a partnership between one of the franchise's previous villains and a brand-new antagonist. The film will feature the return of Charlize Theron's Cipher, who will team up in it with Jason Momoa's Dante Reyes, who just so happens to be the son of Hernan Reyes, a drug lord who meets an unfortunate fate in 2011's "Fast Five."

The team-up between Theron's Cipher and Momoa's Dante, in other words, represents a coming-together of two of the "Fast and Furious" franchise's previous plot threads. Taking that into account, as well as the film's status as its franchise's penultimate installment, it makes a certain amount of sense for "Fast X" to bring the "Fast and Furious" series back to its street-level origins. 

Frankly, it's about time that the franchise returned to its racing roots.

The Fast and Furious franchise has drifted too far away from its origins

While it's difficult to use the word "small" when describing any "Fast and Furious" movie, the plot of 2001's "The Fast and the Furious" seems fairly minuscule compared to the franchise's recent adventures. That's because the initial "Fast and Furious" movies always focused partly on exploring the world of underground street racing. It was really only when "Fast Five" was released in 2011 that the franchise began to focus more on the bigger heist and espionage stories that have defined its more recent installments.

The franchise's post-"Fast Five" era has featured plenty of highlights, but it's also seen the series drift increasingly farther away from its — for lack of a better word — humbler roots. The past few "Fast and Furious" films have, for instance, not only introduced global threats like Cipher, Charlize Theron's villainous cyberterrorist, but also sent certain characters to space.

To be clear, seeing the franchise grow to such absurd heights hasn't been entirely unexciting. There's no denying, however, that the series' most recent installments bear little resemblance to its initial chapters. For that reason alone, it's exciting to know that "Fast X" will give the franchise a chance to look both forward and backward. In fact, the only truly disappointing aspect of this update is that viewers will probably have to say goodbye to the "Fast and Furious" franchise within the next few years, which means its return to street racing may be shorter-lived than longtime fans likely hoped. Better late than never, though.