With Fast Five, Universal started the process of extending the Fast and the Furious franchise beyond movies that are oriented around car-based setpieces and into the realm of action-adventure crime films. The fifth film also featured a gigantic cast, and the idea of locking down all the participants for a few months every two years might not seem like the most feasible idea, no matter what contracts have been signed.

So for many months rumors have flown that the sixth and seventh films could be shot back to back in 2012, and that they might even be one big interconnected story.

Now Vin Diesel more or less confirms that latter speculation, as he talks about the writing process for the sixth film.

Vin Diesel told THR,

With the success of this last one, and the inclusion of so many characters, and the broadening of scope, when we were sitting down to figure out what would fit into the real estate of number six, we didn’t have enough space… We have to pay off this story, we have to service all of these character relationships, and when we started mapping all that out it just went beyond 110 pages.

He added, “the studio said, ‘You can’t fit all that story in one damn movie!” I suspect, however, that given that the franchise has turned unto Universal’s one sure thing when it comes to making money, the conversation was more like “hey, could you guys figure out a way to stretch this into two movies?”

We don’t know at this point if the two films will be shot back to back, and whether they might really just be one big story. But that’s how it looks. Presumably Paul Walker, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Eva Mendes, Michelle Rodriguez and all the rest of the cast will return, perhaps with new additions, when Justin Lin starts to direct the next installment in the coming year. (Remember, too, that Lin says he’s already got one long action scene for the sixth film in the bag.)

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