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‘Fast and the Furious 6’ Set for May 24, 2013

I swear, no puns on "The Fast and the Furious" will make it into this news piece.

With Fast Five nearing $600 million in global sales, Universal is turning their attention to the next installment in the series, tentatively called The Fast and the Furious 6. Deadline now reports that a release date has been set for the next movie: Memorial Day 2013. Series star Vin Diesel is set to return both in front of and behind the camera (as a producer) and Justin Lin — director of the last three films in the series — is said to be returning for more. With the payday this franchise (ugh) makes, could you blame them?

How much more life is left in this damn series anyways? If Nikki Finke's sources and the numbers the last two films have done at the box office are to be believed, they won't be leaving theaters soon. In fact, the studio looks to be giving the entire franchise a genre overhaul, taking the focus away from the street-racing aspects of prior films and moving into the "heist" genre.

In other words, Universal is looking to expand its audience beyond just those enthusiastic about car culture. It seems their hopes are to recreate the lightning in a bottle that was The French Connection, The Italian Job, the "Bourne" and "Ocean's 11" series. Mind you, it's unlikely the "Fast and Furious" series will ever have the brains or charm of any of these films. Maybe with the right script and crew, but we wouldn't hold our breath. Still, you've got to give Universal a little bit of credit for taking their biggest selling series ever, and be willing to take it back to the drawing board. It could be a move that backfires, but you've got to give them some credit for the risk involved.

Can the "Fast and Furious" series evolve in something else? Or will it forever remain the series whose trailer gets scoffed at, yet makes millions at the box office for being the same ... damn ... film as the last?


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