Push/pull cars using a giant mobile magnet because your kid pitched it? Yeah, fine. Swing across a gorge in a Dodge Charger using grappling hooks for the hell of it? No issue there at all. Send the familia to space with rockets strapped to their whips? Just another Tuesday, really. At a glance, you’d be forgiven for assuming the Fast & Furious franchise’s stunt sequences were solely dictated by the limits of unbridled human imagination, but as director Justin Lin reveals, there was a scene cut from the F9 script for being too crazy and expensive. Even by this production’s standards.
Speaking to /Film, Lin alluded to something he had planned involving Lucas Black’s Sean Boswell – who first appeared in Tokyo Drift – his character’s Pontiac Fiero, and actually sending the aforementioned Pontiac Fiero to space using a weather balloon a la Tesla publicity grab. Completely practical, without any CGI.
“I was on this train ride to Edinburgh for a scout and I had a plan to take a Fiero to the outer atmosphere on a weather balloon,” explains Justin Lin.
“And the cost kept coming in, I kept fighting it. And if I’m looking back now… that is the one setup that I would have personally paid for: the weather balloon. I just always love starting any crazy idea with truly doing it ourselves.”
“Ultimately, we had a lot of references to work off of, but if you’re asking me personally, that was one that I was adamant [about]. But the budget — I think even on big budgets — I felt like we found the limit of what we can do.”
Instead, we’ll be treated to a watered-down iteration of this idea alluded to in the trailer below, featuring Ludacris’ Tej Parker and Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce with a bit of duct tape – in full CGI glory.
Alongside Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, and Roman Pearce, F9 will obviously mark the return of Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, as well as Sung Kang in a back-from-the-dead plot twist, and Charlize Theron.
John Cena will make his debut as Dom’s master thief/assassin/performance driver brother, with Cardi B and reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou also cast in undisclosed roles… although there’s a spoilery hint regarding the latter based on the footage provided so far.
Fast & Furious 9 was originally scheduled for international release on May 20th last year. That date has since been pushed to June 25th of 2021 (next week).
Now that you’ve read all about the stunt cut from F9 as revealed by director Justin Lin, read all about the Fast & Furious franchise’s timeline of escalating silliness here.