1. What’s in a name?
You probably didn’t know that there was another Fast & Furious film that pre-dated the breakout Vin Diesel and Paul Walker vehicle by a staggering 46 years. Released in 1955, the B-movie original followed a wrongfully accused convict as he slipped into a cross-border sports car race to secure his freedom in Mexico. Needless to say, the recent Fast & Furious movies haven’t borrowed, er, at all from that “first” Fast film’s plot, but the filmmakers did secure the title rights before production began.
2. Neither Michelle Rodriguez nor Jordana Brewster had driver’s licenses before the first film.
It’s kind of funny to imagine Mia and Letty filling out forms at the DMV, but it’s true: both characters’ respective actresses had little to no experience behind the wheel before the first film began shooting.
3. There’s an incredibly fast and furious easter egg in Herbie: Fully Loaded
Because of course there is. Eagle-eyed Fast fans may have noticed an incredibly familiar sight in the family film’s early junkyard scene: none other than the 1970 Dodge Charger driven by one Dominic Toretto in the original Fast & Furious. Which can mean only one thing: Fast & Furious and Herbie: Fully Loaded confirmed to take place in the same universe? We’re gonna say yes.
4. The 2 Fast 2 Furious that never was.
Unsure if series star Vin Diesel would be able to return in time for the franchise’s second film to begin shooting, the studio commissioned two scripts for the follow-up: one with Diesel’s Dominic Torretto as a main character, and one entirely without him. While it would’ve been admittedly sweet to see Dom and Brian team up to take down drug kingpin Carter Verone, the film introduced sharp-tongued Roman Pearce in Diesel’s stead, who remains a key player in the Fast franchise to this day.
5. Paul Walker is a real-life street racing aficionado.
Brian O’Conner is certainly no slouch when it comes to burning rubber, but neither is his off-screen counterpart. Actor Paul Walker is a sizable street racing buff in his own time, who owns several racing cars — like the Nissan Skyline he drove in 2 Fast 2 Furious, which Walker customized for the role — and has even performed a notable chunk of his own stunts throughout the Fast franchise, like the powerslide Gif’d above.
6. Han has a history outside of the Fast films.
Since his introduction in series threequel The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, racer Han Lue has been the moral anchor of Dom’s high-octane heist crew. But many Fast fans may not now that his first on-screen appearance wasn’t even in a Fast & Furious film. Han was originally featured in franchise director Justin Lin’s first solo work, the crime drama Better Luck Tomorrow, albeit as an edgier version of the street racer that series fans would later come to know.
7. Real-life “Drift King” Keiichi Tsuchiya makes a cameo in Tokyo Drift
Racing legend and rewnowned real-life drift pioneer Keiichi Tsuchiya makes a quick cameo appearance in the franchise’s third, drift-centric installment as an umimpressed fisherman. Tsuchiya also served as a stunt coordinator and stuntman for the film, and an AE86 Sprinter Trueno — the car that Tsuchiya made famous through his career — can be glimpsed in the movie’s garage race scene.
8. We can thank Facebook for giving us Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Vs. Vin Diesel.
Sources say that Fast Five’s hard-edged Agent Hobbs was originally written as a gruff, older man in the vein of Tommy Lee Jones. And then series staple (and producer) Vin Diesel went on Facebook, where he saw a fan comment on how sweet it’d be to see the actor go toe-to-toe with Dwayne Johnson on the silver screen. This inspired Diesel and director Justin Lin to recast the role with Johnson in mind, and serves as one of the few rare times when a Facebook comment changed the world for the better.
9. Even Michelle Rodriguez didn’t know about Fast Five’s surprise ending.
According to the actress, she was just as surprised as everyone else to find out that Leticia “Letty” Ortiz was announced alive at the end of Fast Five. “I didn’t find out until I actually went to the theater and saw it myself,” she explained to Yahoo, which, wow — talk about a twist ending.
10. Tokyo Drift actually takes place last in the film’s chronological order.
It’s widely accepted amongst the Fast films’ die-hard fans that The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift actually takes place after the events of The Fast & The Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and the upcoming Fast & Furious 6. The argument stems from racer Han’s untimely death in Tokyo Drift’s darkest moment, followed by his reappearance in the following films and a few casual lines to Dom about trying out the streets of Tokyo for a spell.