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It’s sometimes hard to believe that the Fast & Furious franchise has actually been around for two decades now. True, the franchise has been heavily entertaining, but I don’t even think the stars of the franchise could’ve imagined that they’d still be playing their fan-favorite roles. Longevity also comes with a few challenges because, as the series grows, the creatives have to keep up with continuity. This is something veteran franchise director Justin Lin has to take into consideration whenever he’s at the helm of a movie. However, he may not be getting as deep as Vin Diesel, since it turns out the star actually has an entire board mapping out character threads.

As the lead actor and one of the driving forces (no pun intended) behind the Fast & Furious franchise, Vin Diesel probably knows everything about his beloved film series. Of course, having a board that maps out everything is always helpful. Justin Lin, who returned to the franchise with the upcoming F9, recently stopped by CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend Podcast to talk shop. This included shedding some light on how he and Diesel prepare using the actor’s massive board:

I do this on all the movies. It’s actually like a weekend for me, of fun, of like, ‘Alright, cool, so like Fast Five, what’s Sean Boswell doing or whatever?’ It’s funny… I think Vin still has it. He literally has this board. It has every character in the universe, and it has those threads that connects everybody. I feel like I’m in the FBI or something, looking for a serial killer.

This may sound like it’s a bit much, but you have to keep with such a sprawling movie universe somehow. It’s honestly not surprising that Vin Diesel goes to such great lengths to keep the continuity in order. And this is only becoming trickier as the Fast & Furious franchise branches out with spinoffs like Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s Hobbs & Shaw. While on ReelBlend, Justin Lin went on to explain how much he considers the characters he’s not personally using while making a specific film:

The fun of it is, yes, we’re going to be able to hopefully share something with everybody for two hours, but so many of the conversations I have are about characters that aren’t even in there. But still, obviously, they’re still living and breathing in the universe. So on this one, when I came back, I was thinking a lot about Hobbs and Shaw and all the other characters. So I never think of them as being gone, for sure.

Blockbuster movie producers can tell you that making sure things line up is easier said than done. I can’t even imagine the kinds of continuity conversations Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige has regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still, Vin Diesel, Justin Lin and his collaborators seem to have things down pretty well for Fast & Furious.

With F9 just around the corner, fans are likely thinking about how the filmmaker was able to craft the return of Sung Kang’s Han Lue. After plotting that out, Vin Diesel’s board must’ve looked pretty crazy, but many seem to be more than excited to have the character back in the fold.

We’ll see how the Fast & Furious timeline continues to unfold when F9 roars into theaters this Friday, June 25. And ahead of the movie, you can head back to the very beginning by streaming The Fast and the Furious on HBO Max, which you can sign up for using this link.

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