Mattel’s Fast & Furious Toys Are Rad!

Having had about another week of time with these toys, I can say that all of them — even the larger ones — are absolutely super fun. My kids keep wandering over and playing with the smaller versions as well as the larger ones. To be honest, I also find myself launching cars through the mountain terrain. Now I’ve got to see the new film!

First Fast 7 Look, Plus Lucas Black Returns

paul walker vin diesel fast and furious 7Insidious: Chapter 2 director James Wan just hit it big at the box office last week. Odds are pretty solid that his next film will be just as successful. He’s currently filming Fast & Furious 7 at the moment and we’re already starting to see and hear new things from the production. Check out the first pic from the movie that star Vin Diesel showed off on his Facebook page. Not the most thrilling picture in the world, it does feature Diesel along with his fellow franchise star Paul Walker hanging out near some water.fast and furious 3 tokyo drift lucas black bow wowIn other Fast & Furious news, Deadline reports that Lucas Black, who played Sean Boswell in Fast & Furious 3: Tokyo Drift, will appear in the next three flicks. The real question, however, is when Lil’ Bow Wow will make his triumphant return to the series. Fast 7 opens on July 11th, 2014.

James Wan Talks Fast & Furious 7 As Djimon Hounsou Signs On

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One of the biggest action flicks in the works right now has to be Fast & Furious 7. The franchise really seemed to kick into high gear with Fast Five and continued the blistering box office pace with the last installment Fast & Furious 6. Now, with a brand new director on board — modern horror master James Wan (Insidious Chapter 2, The Conjuring) — and casting in full swing, we’re starting to get more and more details about the film.

Wan recently spoke with Collider, mostly about the second Insidious movie which opens tomorrow, but also a bit about his upcoming project. “One of the things I would love to bring to it, having spent a lot of time in the horror/thriller/suspense genre is…I love tension, I love suspense and hopefully I can bring that,” Wan said. “That would be my style that I would love to bring to the Fast franchise. I want to respect and honor the world that they’ve created so far, which the fans love. [Laughs] They have crazy fans that love that franchise. So I want to honor that and make sure I don’t mess that up too much, but at the same time I want to put my own stamp to it and kind of do what I do best, which is suspense and tension, and hopefully then my action scenes will put you on the edge of your seat.”special-forces-djimon-hounsou

Meanwhile, Variety announced a new player in the Fast & Furious franchise: Djimon Hounsou (Special Forces, Guardians Of The Galaxy). Absolutely nothing was said about his role in the film. Hounsou will join a cast that includes staples of the series like Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris and Jordana Brewster along with fellow newcomers Kurt Russell, Tony Jaa, Jason Statham, Ronda Rousey and Nathalie Emmanuel. That’s a pretty big cast that will hopefully result in plenty of rad car chases, fight scenes and explosions.

Fast & Furious 7 is slated for a July 11, 2014 release.

Bullet Points: Hot Rounds Of Information Goodness

kurt russell death proofKurt Russell’s in talks to join Fast & Furious 7. That’s all the information we have, but we’re stoked! [via Deadline]the-hunger-games-catching-fire-banner

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire takes the premise of the first film — children killing each other for the entertainment of a dystopian future society — and adds an all new element: old people! Check some of them out in this latest poster. [via Collider]MaxSteel_Logo

Mattel’s Max Steel property is back in development with a script by comic book and screenwriter Christopher Yost (Thor: The Dark World) and Halo: Forward Unto Dawn director Stewart Hendler. Before the property got a recent toy and cartoon reboot, Taylor Lautner was previously attached to star in a film starring the action character. [via Variety]

In other Max movie news, it turns out that the long-delayed Mad Max: Fury Road will head to Sydney for three more weeks of shooting. In the time it’s taken to make this film, old school Australian directors could have made 17 movies.  [via IF]hercules the thracian war bts wounds

We hope someone behind the scenes on Brett Ratner’s Hercules: The Thracian War is paying Dwayne Johnson for getting people to talk about this movie. As he has plenty of times in the past, the actor Tweeted out a picture of himself getting scarred-up for the film. [via @TheRock]Spartacus: War of the Damned - Cynthia Addai-Robinson

Last week we found out that Amanda Waller will appear in the upcoming season of Arrow and now we know that Spartacus: War Of The Damned star Cynthia Addai-Robinson will play her.  [via TV Guide]

Finally, enjoy the above snippet from the Roger Corman-produced martial arts film Fist Of The Dragon. [via Asian Movie Pulse]

Tony Jaa Making Hollywood Debut In Fast & Furious 7

tony jaa ong bak Two of the greatest martial artists on film will be teaming up to star in Fast & Furious 7. We’ve known for a while now that Jason Statham will play the bad guy, but now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, we learned that Thai ass kicker Tony Jaa (Ong-Bak, The Protector) will be in the cast.

The film finds Statham’s Ian Shaw seeking revenge against the crew for his brother played by Luke Evans in the previous film. Series stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker will return along with relative newcomer Dwayne Johnson. Meanwhile, actual fighter Ronda Rousey is in talks to join the project along with Tyrese Gibson who recently snapped a photo with director James Wan in front of the film’s first poster.

This will be Jaa’s first U.S. film. A fan of the Fast & Furious movies, Jaa said, “There is no better film to be involved in for a first U.S. studio production.” He went on to say that, regardless of whether he actually fights Diesel or Johnson on camera, he’s excited about the project.  “Having a chance to work with Vin Diesel and The Rock already makes me a winner.”

The Explosions Are Rad crew have been fans of Jaa since we stumbled upon The Protector several years back. He brings an intensity and realism to his action scenes that are hard to match (see below for what it might look like for him to fight a guy like Johnson). Bringing some of that raw physicality to the chase and heist-centric franchise will be pretty interesting. However, if Jaa doesn’t fight Statham on screen, it will be a hugely wasted opportunity. Make it happen Wan!

Fast & Furious 7 hits on July 11, 2014.

BULLET POINTS: HOT ROUNDS OF INFORMATION GOODNESS

magnum piWhile talking to Collider, Dodgeball and We’re The Millers director Rawson Marshall Thurber mentioned a Magnum P.I. movie he wrote along the lines of Beverly Hills Cop. Hopefully, Millers will do well enough to make that happen!

Speaking of action comedies, head on over to TVLine to check out the first motion poster for the Andy Samberg-starring half hour Fox comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

TheWrap broke news that Tarsem Singh (Immortals) has signed on to direct a film called Panopticon written by Craig Rosenberg (After The Sunset, Lost). The film follows a man who receives a letter from himself about the upcoming end of the world.hercules from dwayne johnson

Dwayne Johnson tweeted another behind-the-scenes shot from the set of Brett Ratner’s Hercules.fast-and-furious-7-james-wan-tyrese-gibson

Speaking of Twitter reveals, Fast & Furious 7 director James Wan sent out the above image of himself and actor Tyrese Gibson in front of the first look at the film’s promo poster. It seems safe to assume that Tyrese will return for his fourth outing as Roman Pearce.

Deadline reports that Lionsgate picked up a new military-centric screenplay by Matt Johnson (Tracers, Torque). The story is described as “an action movie centering around a group of U.S. Marines who start a high-stakes business venture when they return home from Afghanistan.” Sounds thrilling.Xena_Gabrielle

If she had her way, Lucy Lawless would like to return as Xena with her pals Gabrielle and Joxer, pass the torch to a new crew and then move on as a way to return the franchise to its fans. She said as much to Blastr. [via The Mary Sue]

A Good Day To Die Hard director John Moore will direct a film based on Will Scully’s Once A Pilgrim now called The Englishman. The screenplay by William Wisher (Terminator 2, The 13th Warrior) finds an SAS member turned mercenary caught in Africa during a coup where he helps defend a hotel full of people against the invading rebels. [via Collider]

Olympic Judo Medalist Ronda Rousey Circling Fast & Furious 7

ronda rousey UFC fighter Ronda Rousey’s becoming as popular in the movie world as she is in mixed martial arts. In addition to joining The Expendables 3, Rousey is also likely to appear in Fast & Furious 7, Variety reports. Rousey, also a Judo Bronze Medal winner at the 2008 Olympics, is the first new name added to the franchise’s roster, though regulars like Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson are expected to return.  Rousey follows in the footsteps of fellow MMA fighter-turned-Fast & Furious actress Gina Currano who joined the serious with Fast & Furious 6.

The contracts haven’t been finalized yet, but Rousey’s not the only newcomer to the franchise. Director James Wan is set to replace Justin Lin who helmed the previous four Fast & Furious flicks. Wan’s career has been mainly horror-centric with hits like Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring which is scaring the crap out of people in theaters as we type.

Universal hasn’t released any information about the actual plot of Fast & Furious 7, though it’s expected to return to Cali. At this point, the plan is for Rousey to shoot both films back to back this fall which would still give her the 45 days of straight-ahead training she needs for her next fight in December.