On the heels of a report that Universal Pictures wants Justin Lin to return to direct the final few installments of The Fast and the Furious back to back, we now have an idea of how much fuel the studio thinks is left in the hit franchise.
Asked during The Hollywood Reporter's studio executive roundtable whether the series can continue following the death of star Paul Walker, Universal Chairman Donna Langley replied, "We think there's at least three more."
"Paul is, and always will be, an integral part of the story. But there are many other great characters, and it's also an opportunity to introduce new characters," she explained. "I think it's still a growing franchise. We'll see what happens with Furious 7, obviously, but our box office has grown over the past three or four films and internationally, in particular. So we think that there's more to mine there. But we're of course very mindful about fatigue."
Lin, who has directed four films in the franchise, has an increasingly busy schedule that includes a couple of episodes of HBO''s True Detective, the crime thriller Times Square and the sequel to Universal's The Bourne Legacy. Whether he can find a spot on his calendar for Fast and Furious 8, and possibly its sequels, remains to be seen.
Directed by James Wan, Furious 7 opens April 3.