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Why Fast X Is In Hot Water With LA Residents Over Car Stunts

Car fleeing attacking helicopters in F9
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

The Fast & Furious movies have been known by fans for their amazing car stunts, although a lot of cars have also been destroyed along the way. While these car stunts may be mind-blowing on the big screen, Los Angeles residents are not too impressed in the real world. Fast X is currently in hot water with L.A. residents who are not happy with the filming of these car stunts.

Ever since The Fast and the Furious premiered in 2001, the location of Bob’s Market in the Angelino Heights neighborhood has been the direct pathway for car enthusiasts to hold races and street takeovers throughout the area. Multiple cars in one area means constant noise and unsafe conditions. The fun will only continue once Fast X starts filming there this Friday. Variety reports that Los Angeles residents are taking a stand against a notice sent by FilmLA. It states that “Fast X will shoot Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. in front of the Toretto house on Kensington Road'' with “simulated emergency services activity, aerial photography, wetting down of street and atmospheric smoke.” 

The residents of Los Angeles plan on protesting against the shooting of Fast X in an angry response over the effects street racing has had on their community, as well as street takeovers being at an all-time high. Traffic fatalities and pedestrian deaths have soared during the pandemic, with races and street takeovers rising 27% last year. Traffic deaths in the U.S. jumped 21% in the first three months of 2022 compared to 2020. In an email that a Los Angeles resident wrote to the Los Angeles City Council stated their anger over what has happened to their community as a result of the Fast & Furious films and what they plan to do about it. As the letter states:

If this film shoot is allowed to go forward in Angelino Heights, or any part of it from F10 Productions (Universal) … we will stage a huge protest and will invite many reporters and news cameras to film us protesting this film shoot all day and night. We will hold this protest to honor the 178 people who have been killed by street racers in Los Angeles, and to shame Universal for their callous disregard for this deadly epidemic of street racing their films started and continue to promote.

The protest is being organized by an Angelino Heights resident and is supported by Street Racing Kills and Streets Are for Everyone, which are responsible for road safety education. The founders of these advocacy organizations, Lili Trujillo Puckett and Damian Kevitt, have been personally affected by dangerous driving, as Puckett’s 16-year-old daughter was killed in a crash caused by a street race. Kevitt lost his leg after being hit by a car that was speeding through Griffith Park. Several street races have been happening in the area this year, including a freeway crash that killed two people. Other residents have had to deal with disruptive noise, smoke, collisions and heated altercations when trying to stop these drivers. L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo and Universal Pictures have not commented on the issue.

Fast X has already had to go through a difficult production. The tenth installment faced a huge setback days after filming started when director Justin Lin stepped out. There were rumors that the reason for Lin's departure from Fast X was because of the clashes he had with the star and producer of the films, Vin Diesel. Clash of the Titans director Louis Leterrier was subsequently hired as Lin's replacement. While we don’t know any more details about the upcoming protest, it looks like L.A. residents have had enough of putting up with these dangerous street races.

While the Fast & Furious franchise hasn’t contained as many street races as it used to, it’s said that the next installment will revisit that. Puckett felt like the timing has been poor to have Fast X film in their neighborhood this year, and that Universal needs to up its outreach efforts to get the message of promoting safe driving across much better. This new movie release will be zooming into theaters on May 19, 2023.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.