STID Carol / FF6 Letty

It’s more or less impossible to reboot a massively popular franchise for the big screen without drawing the ire of a few fans, but one major criticsm plaguing Star Trek Into Darkness in recent days has nothing to do with J.J. Abrams‘ Klingon redesign or use of parallel timelines. Midway through the film, there’s a brief scene in which the character Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) strips down to her underwear for no apparent reason. Some fans called filmmakers out for being sexist, and so far writer Damon Lindelof has stepped up to offer his apologies.

The minor controversy was fresh in my mind when I went to go see Fast & Furious 6, which, as you’d expect, outdoes Star Trek Into Darkness‘ tiny sliver of cheesecake on every level. All of the female stars of Fast & Furious 6 are conventionally attractive to begin with, and none shy away from wearing form-fitting outfits or showing off a bit of cleavage. Additionally, scantily clad female extras are used in several sequences as little more than set decoration. And yet I walked away from Fast & Furious 6 thinking that director Justin Lin and his crew could teach the Star Trek team a thing or two about portraying female characters on screen.

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Fast and Furious 6 - flying from tank

The Fast and the Furious films have always done well, but 2011’s Fast Five really kicked the franchise up to a whole new level in terms of box office, critical praise, and gleefully over-the-top ridiculousness. With some luck, Fast & Furious 6 could raise the bar even higher. That shot of a car shooting out of  burning airplane, for example, seemed like a great start.

Helmed by returning director Justin Lin, the latest installment of the car-centric series sees Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) turning to Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and the rest of the gang for help in catching a dangerous mastermind (Luke Evans). In exchange, our favorite thieves will get full pardons so they can return home. Complicating matters is the unexpected reappearance of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) whom they believed to be dead. Watch the last trailer after the jump.

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Ah, yes, the Fast and the Furious franchise: Where a man can fly from one fancy speeding car to another in the middle of the highway while a tank wreaks havoc in the background. See that photo and more after the jump. Also:

  • Jocelin Donahue is young Barbara Hershey in Insidious 2
  • Helen Mirren teases some of her big action scenes for Red 2
  • Yes, Rafe Spall will appear in Edgar Wright‘s The World’s End
  • Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Trek character is a very modern terrorist
  • Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura talks Transformers 4
  • A Good Day to Die Hard unveils a Valentine’s Day-themed spot
  • The gang’s all here in a fresh batch of stills from Fast & Furious 6
  • See some colorful high-res images from The Muppets… Again

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We haven’t seen too much from Fast & Furious 6 yet, but Universal has apparently chosen Super Bowl weekend to get the marketing push started in earnest. A few days ago, they revealed the full synopsis, and earlier this weekend they unveiled the first poster. Now, in the middle of the big game, we’ve finally gotten our first look at some footage in the form of a 60-second TV spot. Check it out after the jump.

Watch other 2013 Super Bowl spots at these links: Iron Man 3World War ZStar Trek Into Darkness, The Lone Ranger, Oz: The Great and Powerful.

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In a move that will surprise no one, former MMA fighter and Haywire star Gina Carano has just been cast in a still untitled film pitched as “The Female Expendables.” The project, which will be produced by Adi Shankar‘s company 1984 Private Defense Contrators (The GreyMachine Gun Preacher, Killing Them Softly) came together last month after the successful opening of The Expendables 2. Dutch Southern is writing.  Read More »

In Fast Six, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returns as DSS agent Luke Hobbs. This time, his crew’s power is bolstered by the addition of Gina Carano, the former MMA fighter whose first film, Haywire, led to her gig in Fast Six.

The film is shooting now under the direction of Justin Lin, who returns to the director’s chair, and Johnson has tweeted a photo of he and Carano in costume on the set of the film. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Steven Soderbergh helped Gina Carano change careers from MMA star to actress when he and Lem Dobbs built the action film Haywire around her. In the wake of that film’s release, we’ve heard about possible next jobs for Carano, but now she’s set to join one of the biggest action franchises from any studio.

Carano is in talks to join Fast Six (or Fast & Furious 6, or Fast 6, or whatever the final title will be), where she’ll play alongside Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, and Vin Diesel. After beating the crap out of guys like Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender in Haywire, that should’t be much of a stretch. Read More »

Steven Soderbergh saw Gina Carano fight and decided to build a movie around her. The result was Haywire, released earlier this year. And now it seems that other filmmakers have seen Haywire, and want to make more movies around Carano. The former MMA fighter has been cast in a new action thriller called In the Blood, which sounds a bit like a gender-reversed riff on Taken. Read More »

When we ran the first five minutes of Steven Soderbergh‘s Haywire, starring Gina Carano, a few people mentioned something interesting in the comments. Those who’ve followed Carano’s MMA career said that her voice, as heard in the clip from the film, didn’t sound much at all like Carano.

Turns out there’s a reason. We know that Steven Soderbergh was taken enough with Carano’s physical presence to build a film around her. Some of that appeal may have been that she’s an unknown quantity on film. And it seems that Soderbergh wanted to emphasize every possible difference between Gina Carano and the character she plays on screen, so with Carano’s participation he did some work to alter her voice for the film. Read More »