Warning! Minor spoilers ahead for Fast X.
Fast X director Louis Leterrier recalls his reaction to unseen Paul Walker footage from Fast Five, which he went through to construct the latest sequel’s opening flashback scene. Serving as the tenth movie in the Fast & Furious franchise’s central Fast Saga, Fast X pits Vin Diesel and his crew against a dangerous new villain in the form of Jason Momoa’s Dante. Dante, it’s revealed, is the son of Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), the central villain of 2011’s Fast Five.
In a recent interview with Insider in which he breaks down the Fast X ending, beginning, and everything in between, Leterrier talks about how he went about constructing that opening Fast Five flashback sequence. The director reveals that retelling the Fast Five climax from a new perspective involved combing through a lot of unused footage from the 2011 movie, including scenes with Diesel and the late Paul Walker. Check out Leterrier’s full comment below:
“So we reshot some stuff on 35-millimeter with the same cameras. We also went into the archives and looked at all the dailies. So there was a lot of stuff that you haven’t seen before. We reinterpreted the chase through a different point of view, through the Reyes’ point of view, so Dom and Brian are the bad guys in our story at the beginning of the movie.
“That was exciting. That was also very emotional because I was watching dailies with, young Vin and young Paul and then obviously they were Brian and Dom between ‘action and cut,’ but I could see their interaction as friends before and after. That was really amazing to see. Really, really emotional.”
Was Going Back To Fast Five The Right Call For Fast X?
Fast Five is a very pivotal film in the Fast & Furious franchise. The 2011 entry, which is directed by Justin Lin, perfectly combines the more grounded street racing of earlier installments and the more ridiculous action set pieces that came to define the latter half of the franchise. Prior to Fast X‘s release, it was made clear that the sequel would be closely related to Fast Five through Momoa’s villain, but it was also teased that the film would go back to a more grounded style of action.
Fast Five is widely considered one of the best entries (if not the best) in the franchise, and the flashbacks and Dante’s heritage help to create a full-circle moment for Dom. Fast X hammers home that Dom’s actions do occasionally have consequences. While the latest sequel’s connection to Fast Five helps to give the story more weight, it also is a stark reminder of just how much better the 2011 movie actually was.
Fast Five features better, more grounded action and isn’t stifled by its obligations to a bloated cast. The movie is less epic in scale, but this allows it to tell a more focused and impactful story. It also benefits from the chemistry between Diesel and Walker. While the franchise’s best days may now be firmly in the rearview mirror, Fast X‘s connection to Fast Five does ultimately save the film from being too much of a disappointment.