In just a few days, The Fate of the Furious will hit theaters and send the franchise in a new direction as longtime hero Dominic Toretto betrays his family and aligns with a criminal named Cipher. However, with eight films in the series, this is not first time the franchise has ventured into new territory. Released in 2006, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift featured an entirely new cast of characters, excluding previous stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker while introducing fan-favourite character Han Lue. However, writer Chris Morgan revealed to Uproxx that his first script for the third film originally featured Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto as the lead character.
Morgan explained how he boarded the project and shared small details on his original pitch.
“There was an open writing call for the third film. I think originally I came in and pitched. Essentially it was Tokyo Drift, but it was with Vin, and his character kind of had to go out and learn drifting. And there was a murder he had to solve.”
Morgan commented on how grateful he was to Vin Diesel for agreeing to make a cameo appearance at the end of the film.
“It is so funny. It could have been the death throes, and then thankfully, the thing that kind of saved us was that we got Vin at the very end of the movie to come in and kind of hint where we’re going to go in the future.”
Of course, Diesel’s exclusion may have been for the best as the film introduced fans to the character Han, who Morgan explained proved popular enough to alter the franchise’s timeline.
“We got Han, I mean, thank god we got Sung Kang, you know? I mean, look, we altered the timeline of our entire franchise pretty much for Sung, because we loved him so much, to be able to hold onto him for a few movies longer.”
You can read the full interview with Chris Morgan here.
It certainly seems as though everything worked out for the best. While The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift may not have performed as well as the previous two films, writer Chris Morgan did stay on board to write all the subsequent entries in the franchise, resulting in a series of financially successful and generally well-received sequels.
The Fate of the Furious will be released in theaters on April 14, 2017.