How Fast & Furious 7 Will Be Directly Connected To Its Director's Past

When Justin Lin came aboard the Fast & Furious with Tokyo Drift back in 2006, he pulled off something rather creative. By introducing Han, played by Sung Kang, into the series, the director managed to create a continuity connection between the car racing franchise and Lin’s directorial debut, the indie thriller Better Luck Tomorrow. It was such a fascinating and unique move that it got me wondering if Fast & Furious 7 helmer James Wan would be game to do something similar. So when I got the chance to speak with the filmmaker this past weekend, I took the opportunity to ask.

This past weekend I took part in the press junket for the new horror film Annabelle (the upcoming spin-off from 2013's The Conjuring), and while sitting down with John Leonetti (Annabelle’s director) and James Wan (Annabelle’s producer), I asked point blank if there was a possibility that the Fast & Furious franchise took place in the same cinematic universe as his previous movies. As you can see in the video below, the filmmaker was thoroughly amused by my question, and while he played down the idea of any connection between Fast & Furious 7 and The Conjuring/Annabelle, he did hint that there is a relationship between his newest film and one of his older titles. Said Wan,

"I’ve thought of many ways to incorporate it [laughs]. Probably not so much from my horror movies, by definitely stylistic and aesthetic more from my third movie – my sort of revenge thriller film, which John [Leonetti] shot for me. Death Sentence. That definitely has shades of that in Fast 7."

Looking back on Wan’s 2007 film, it’s not hard to see why the director would reach back to that experience while making Fast & Furious 7. In addition to the fact that the film was Wan’s first venture out of the horror genre, both movies have important themes of revenge, as the 2015 action film will feature Ian Shaw (Jason Statham) looking for payback from Dom (Vin Diesel) and his crew following the death of his brother, Owen Shaw (Lee Evans), in Fast & Furious 6.

Being the continuity nerd that I am and not being fully satisfied with the answer, I pursued the topic a bit further, asking if Death Sentence could perhaps wind up being part of the Fast & Furious world. He replied,

"I’m not going to go that far, but potentially! Maybe Kevin Bacon can show up!"

I don’t know how the rest of you feel, but that idea sounds pretty badass to me.

Annabelle arrives in theaters this weekend, while Fast & Furious 7 will be out on April 3, 2015.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.