Vin Diesel has been teasing a role in an upcoming Marvel movie for a long time now. Just today, he all-but-confirmed to EW the rumors that he was voicing a character in one of the superhero-studio’s movies — probably Guardians of the Galaxy, probably Groot. This may be surprising, but it’s actually simply the next phase in an ongoing evolutionary process that dates back to the dawn of the new century. You see, way back in
2000 2001, Vin Diesel headlined The Fast and the Furious, a movie about fast cars and the furious people who drive fastly. Diesel left; in respone, the franchise replaced him with Tyrese Gibson (2 Fast 2 Furious) and the island nation of Japan (Tokyo Drift.)
In further proof that we live in a surrealist futuristic dystopia, the Fast & Furious franchise has gotten more successful both critically and commercially. It has also rapidly expanded, adding in new cast members from other franchises — a process that began with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Fast Five and will continue in next year’s Fast 7 with Jason “The Transporter” Statham and Tony “Tony Jaa” Jaa.
In turn, the leads in past Fast‘s have moved on to other franchises. The result is that Fast & Furious is quickly becoming the Nexus of all Action Movie Reality — it’s like Tommy Westphall with more biceps, or like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, except with only one degree and also Kevin Bacon should really play Paul Walker’s older brother in Fast 9.
Above, EW visual guru Jef Castro has presented a roadmapped this complex web of actiondom. Click on it for a larger look at your new Fast & Furious reality. Below find a complete explanatory rundown, plus some suggestions for future casting choices. (Put it this way: Fast & Furious is just one Neeson cameo away from dominance.)
Notes, Clockwise from Diesel:
Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto): Riddick in the Riddick trilogy, Xander Cage in the XXX sem-franchise, and (probably) Groot in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Luke Hobbs): The Scorpion King in the Mummy/Scorpion King double-franchise, Not Brendan Fraser in the Journey maybe-trilogy, Roadblock in the G.I. Joe series
Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce): Sergeant Epps in the Transformers series
Luke Evans (Owen Shaw in Furious 6): Apollo in the [Blank] of the Titans reboot saga, Bard the Bowman in the next two Hobbitses
Joe Taslim (Badass Henchman in Furious 6): Badass Sergeant in The Raid (which has a sequel!)
Rick Yune (Johnny Tran in Fast 1): Zao in Die Another Day
Michael Ealy (The Dude With A Totally Sweet Yellow Car in 2 Fast 2 Furious): Detective Sebastian in Underworld: Awakening
Tony Jaa (Presumably A Badass in Fast 7): Ting and Tien in the Ong-Bak trilogy
Brian Tee (The Drift King in Tokyo Drift): Noburo in The Wolverine
James Remar (Crusty Old Customs Agent in 2 Fast): Crusty Old General in X-Men: First Class
Sonny Chiba (Uncle Kamata in Tokyo Drift): Hattori Hanzo in Kill Bill, which as we all know takes place in Quentin Tarantino’s linked Tarantino-verse
Matt Schulze (Viiiiiince!): Chupa in Blade II
Perd Hapley: It’s true! And actor Jay Jackson also played a newscaster in Battleship, which proves definitively that Parks & Recreation takes place on an alternate earth where Brazil was destroyed by a car chase and Hawaii was decimated by attacking aliens.
Joaquim De Almeida (Most Evil Man In Brazil in Fast Five): Most Evil Man In Colombia in Clear and Present Danger, Most Evil Man In Mexico in 24 Season 3
John Ortiz (Braga in Fasts 4 & 6): Morales in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Ted Levine (Sgt. Tanner in Fast 1): Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs
Jason Statham (Ian Shaw in Fast 7): The Transporter in The Transporter, Chev Chelios in the Crank duology, and Lee Christmas in The Expendables, which is coincidentally becoming the Nexus of ’80s Action Franchises, therefore making Statham the Nexus of the Nexus, or “Meta-Nexus” if you will. Scientists predict that 2020 will see the release of The Fast and the Expendables, wherein Statham’s Ian Shaw will fight Statham’s Lee Christmas, at which point the old gods will emerge from their prison at the center of the earth and plunge the universe into a new eon of terror and baldness.
Jordana Brewster (Mia Toretto): Chrissie in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Sung Kang (Han): Raj in Live Free or Die Hard
Eva Mendes (Monica Fuentes): Ajedrez in Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Michelle Rodriguez (Letty): Shé in Machete, Rain in Resident Evil, Trudy in Avatar. Additionally, Rodriguez has voiced characters in the videogame franchises True Crime, Halo, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Driver.
Franchises Unaccounted for (along with suggestions for hastening total franchise colonization):
The Bourne Identity/Mission: Impossible: Jeremy Renner
Taken/Star Wars/The Dark Knight: Liam Neeson
Pirates of the Caribbean/Star Trek: Zoe Saldana
Man of Steel: Well, Furious 6‘s Gina Carano did date Superman
Spider-Man/Planet of the Apes: James Franco
The Twilight Saga/Terminator: Bryce Dallas Howard, whose casting would also connect the franchise to Lars Von Trier’s still-unfinished Dogville/Manderlay “U.S. Trilogy,” which shares several themes with the Fast & Furious franchise
Infernal Affairs: Tony Leung, whose casting would also connect the franchise to Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together/In the Mood for Love/2046 1960s trilogy, which shares several themes with the Fast & Furious franchise.