True, the next entry in the series, Fast & Furious 6, is still more than a month away from its May 24th theatrical debut.
But audiences are genuinely excited for the sixth installment and Universal is looking to aggressively exploit one of its few reliable franchises. After Fast Five proved to be easily the biggest of the series so far, director Justin Lin, who has handled the bulk of the franchise with the last four movies, planned on filming Fasts Six and Seven concurrently.
Eventually, that plan was scrapped, but the studio still had its heart set on Fast & Furious 7 for the summer of 2014. As a result, Lin is walking away from directing the seventh movie, citing concerns about putting out an inferior product as a result of a necessarily quick turnaround to make that happen.
In his stead, Universal has selected Saw and Insidious director James Wan to be the first guy other than Lin to direct a Fast & Furious movie since John Singleton phoned in 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003. Wan's currently in negotiations for the job. Given that time is very much of the essence, talks between he and the studio are expected to conclude in short order.
Today Diesel was part of a Fast & Furious 6 presentation at exhibitor convention CinemaCon, and there he announced the date for next summer's automotive actioner. According to Deadline, Diesel also specified that the next film will again feature the whole ensemble cast, including himself, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, and Tyrese Gibson.
A spoilerific rumor that sounds ever-more credible posits that Fast & Furious 6 ends on a cliffhanger introducing the villain of Fast & Furious 7, a very dangerous fellow bent on revenge and played by a familiar action star who will be joining the series as "franchise Viagra" much like Johnson in Fast Five.