The Fast and the Furious franchise steps into uncharted territory next week with its first spin-off: Hobbs & Shaw, featuring The Rock and Jason Statham. Nine movies into a franchise known for pushing the boundaries and you begin to get into issues of one-upmanship. Just the last movie featured two of the most ridiculous stunts we’ve seen: hundreds of self-driving cars crashing through a city and a submarine bursting through the ice while chasing Dom and his friends. That’s not to mention the hidden tanks and bank vault chases of yesteryear. So where do you take things from there?
Chris Morgan has written every Fast and the Furious movie since Tokyo Drift in 2006. He is intimately familiar with the challenge of needing to push the boundaries. But, in an interview with Polygon, he did explain that there are rules he’s unwilling to break when it comes to the outrageousness of his stunts.
“I have one internal regulator on all this stuff,” said Morgan. “I’m a big action guy and a big action fan and I love physics too, by the way. I think the limiter for me is that we will bend to physics and never outright break it-break it. So how do you determine that? Well, for me, while you’re watching the movie and while you’re watching the action sequence, does something happen that’s so physically impossible or absurd that it breaks faith with the audience? That you suddenly can no longer enjoy the movie and you don’t care about the characters because of that breakage”
Morgan went on to talk about a scene from Fast & Furious 6, where Han (Sun Kang) and Gisele (Gal Gadot) are chasing a massive plane down a runway.
A number of, well, math nerds (and we mean that in the nicest possible way) have tried calculating the length that the runway would have to be to make the stunt possible, with many estimations hovering around 25 miles.
“[That’s] something fun to think about on the ride home,” says Morgan. “But during the moment were people thinking: do they really want to bring that plane down? Are they worried about Han, Gisele, and everybody? I think they are. That means that it’s a good candidate for a set piece. So we’re pretty strict on that. I would say nothing is off limits as long as we can stay on the right side of keeping the audience engaged.”
Which raises the question, could we ever see a space-based Fast and the Furious movie, akin to James Bond’s Moonraker?
“Nothing’s out of the question,” says Morgan. “Absolutely nothing. It just has to be cool and it has to be good. You know, that’s the thing.”