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Going places no one has ever been before sounds like a mission for team Star Trek. And yet, new plans for the developing Fast & Furious 8 suggest that Vin Diesel and his crew aim to break incredible new ground by applying to shoot scenes where no other major motion picture has gone before: Cuba.
According to a spokesperson for Universal Studios, as reported by Variety, Fast & Furious 8 is going through the proper channels so it can receive permission from the U.S. and Cuban governments to "explore shooting a portion" of the announced sequel on the island nation of Cuba. John Kavulich, senior policy adviser to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, said of the deal:
Cuba is a land that many know about, but few have seen. These productions are hoping to capitalize on the increased interest in Cuba.
From the perspective of the Fast & Furious franchise, they typically just like to shoot in locations that very few people have explored before on film. Ever since hitting the road in Los Angeles in the original movie, each sequel has shifted to new locations, from Florida (2 Fast, 2 Furious) or Tokyo (Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift) to South America (Fast Five), London Fast & Furious 6) and the Middle East (Furious 7). A trademark of the series has now become the exotic locations in which they are going to film, as well as the celebrity cameos and the ridiculous stunts.
If Cuba comes through, then Fast & Furious 8 will be an East Coast affair. Vin Diesel, when he first started talking about doing an eighth movie, has been vocal about bringing the action to New York City. From there, the island nation of Cuba would be a hop, skip and a catapulted automobile away. Maneuvering around Cuba might be difficult. As Variety notes, several modern amenities (like Internet, for example) are not yet available on the island. But that’s easily something producers could work around.
Cuba previously hosted Papa, an independent film starring Giovanni Ribisi, but Fast & Furious 8 would be the biggest film ever to shoot on the island. But it also could open the door to countless more movies looking to take advantage of the location. Already, Conan O’Brien shot episodes of his late-night TV show in Havana. Showtime’s House of Lies plans to film scenes in Cuba. At the very least, Cuba could serve as a gorgeous visual backdrop for the car carnage that Fast & Furious 8 likely will bring to the screen.
As of right now, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese, Ludacris, Michelle Rodriguez and the majority of the Fast crew are expected to return for part eight, though they will have a new director. Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray agreed to direct months ago. The sequel will be in theaters on April 17, 2017.