With the number of new stars joining the already packed ensemble cast, the Fast & Furious franchise is constantly looking more and more like The Expendables. In addition to the crew from Fast & Furious 6, which included big name regulars like Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, the sequel has already added Jason Statham, Kurt Russell and MMA fighter Ronda Rousey - and today yet another known name has joined the gang. Variety reports that Djimon Hounsou is the latest actor to sign on for Fast & Furious 7.
Unfortunately, the trade doesn't provide any information about the Oscar nominated star's character and because there are no current details available about the plot we have no idea how he will fit into the story. Chris Morgan, who has written every installment of the franchise since Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift, is once again penning the script, while Justin Lin will be stepping down from his post as director and is being replaced by The Conjuring's James Wan. Back in May, Diesel promised fans that the new movie will be returning to the series' roots and will be set in Los Angeles. When I spoke with the director about his plans for the film a few months ago he told me that he just wants the audience to be on the edge of their seat. Said Wan,
"I think what I can bring to it is my understanding and love for suspense and thrill, you know, like edge of your seat sort of thrill and so, I want my drama scenes and my action sequences, right, to have you on the edge of your seat, not too dissimilar to what they have in the first Die Hard film, which I love."
Weirdly enough, there are now going to be two films in 2014 that feature both Hounsou and Diesel. In addition to Fast & Furious 7, both are on the cast list for James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, which will be out next August. While Diesel's character will be a motion-capture walking tree named Groot, Hounsou will be playing a live-action character, Koranth. As the actor described at San Diego Comic-Con this summer, the character is an ally to Ronan The Accuser (the villainous alien played by Lee Pace) and Thanos (the big purple dude you saw at the end of Joss Whedon's The Avengers).
Stepping outside of the action genre, Hounsou will next be seen in the ensemble comedy Baggage Claim, which will be out later this month. After that we'll soon get to see him in Mark Neveldine's horror movie The Vatican Tapes and co-starring with Jeff Bridges in Seventh Son. He's also part of the voice cast of How To Train Your Dragon 2.
Fast & Furious 7 will be going into production soon and is scheduled to be released July 11, 2014.