The new electric DeLorean is one of the many cars that appear in Fast X, the sequel to the Fast & Furious movie that sent the franchise to space. But even with a vehicle known for racing backward and forward through time in Back to the Future — and despite the physics-defying franchise’s progressively outlandish stunts — director Louis Leterrier is keeping the Fast Saga (relatively) grounded. After getting into the driver’s seat for Fast X, Leterrier will return for the untitled Fast and Furious 11, which star and producer Vin Diesel has teased as the middle chapter of a finale trilogy.
“What could I do? Time travel?” Leterrier told EW of 2021’s F9 going into space. “There’s nothing I could have done that’s bigger than that. There’s no way. They went to space, so I was like, ‘Let’s bring it back to Earth.’”
Fast X comes back down to Earth to pit Dominic Toretto (Diesel) in the race of his life against Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), the sadistic son of ruthless Rio drug lord Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida) from 2011’s Fast Five. After taking over from franchise regular Justin Lin, Leterrier wanted to steer the Fast Saga back to its street-racing roots with a ride-or-die race between Dom, Dante, Diogo (Luis Da Silva Jr.), and Isabel (Daniela Melchior).
“I love the Fast & Furious movies with international espionage and going to space and everything, but that’s not why I watch these movies,” Leterrier said. “If I get to do a Fast & Furious movie, it’s the one that brought back racing to the forefront. That’s my legacy as a director, I wanted to bring cars back to the forefront of Fast & Furious.”
The four-way race in Rio “was so important to me,” the director added of the high-stakes street race. “That was not in the script, it’s something I added. I actually wanted a street race – I hadn’t seen a street race for a while and I wanted the antagonist to be a driver, I wanted to see our actors behind the wheel, I wanted to create special cameras and rigs to fly through the cars like we’ve never seen before. I did all that stuff and that was my dream come true.”
Starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Jason Statham, John Cena, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, and franchise newcomers Jason Momoa, Brie Larson, Alan Richtson, Daniela Melchior, and Rita Moreno, Fast X is now playing in theaters.