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SYFY WIRE Fast & Furious

Which Fast & Furious Movie To Watch First? Christopher Nolan's Surprise Pick Revealed

Christopher Nolan is a Fast and Furious junkie - and wants you to start with the spinoffs. 

By Josh Weiss
A split featuring a still from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) and Christopher Nolan

Back in 2020, prestige filmmaker Christopher Nolan admitted his unabashed affection for the Fast & Furious franchise. Not surprisingly, the confession took moviegoers by storm. After all, Nolan is a storyteller known for cinematic brain teasers that leave the audience with more questions than answers. The Fast Saga, on the other hand, operates on the principle of we-know-none-of-this-makes-any-sense-just-turn-your-brain-off-and-enjoy-the-ride. The two could not be more different and yet, we all have our guilty we not?

“I have no guilt about being a fan of the Fast & Furious franchise," the Oppenheimer director told Late Show host Stephen Colbert this week, effectively renewing his proverbial vows to the high-octane IP on national television. "It’s a tremendous action franchise … I watch those movies all the time. I love them.”

Christopher Nolan Has a Recommendation for Fast & Furious Newcomers

Colbert, who has never seen any of the Fast films since they first began in 2001, asked Nolan if he'd be up to joining him for a day-long marathon. Nolan actually seemed pretty open to the idea, but countered with the argument that a newcomer does not need to watch all of the adventures in one burst. 

"It’s only the last few where a very specific arc and mythology sort of develop," he explained, going on to recommend Tokyo Drift as the official starting point for any F&F neophytes living among us. It's a solid suggestion, considering how the 2006 outing tells a standalone tale of underground racing, quite disconnected from the drama associated with Brian O'Conner and Dominic Toretto. That is, of course, until subsequent installments retcon the events of Tokyo Drift to fit into the wider fabric of the Fast tapestry.

"I would start with Tokyo Drift and just watch that as its own thing," Nolan said. "Just to warm you up."

For More on Fast & Furious:

2 of the Biggest Fast & Furious Stars Didn't Even Know How to Drive Before the Movies

How Fast X Added Mystery To Dwayne Johnson's Surprise Return as Hobbs

Why Fast X Director Scaled Back (Some of) Jason Momoa's Gonzo Performance As Dante Reyes

What's Next for the Fast Saga?

Things are still a little hazy on how the current iteration of the Fast & Furious franchise will drive off into the sunset. With that said, we do know that a Luke Hobbs-centric film (featuring the return of Dwayne Johnson) is set to bridge the narrative gap between Fast X and its upcoming sequel. Louis Leterrier has been tapped to direct Fast 11, though it remains unclear whether the sequel will close out the Toretto family story, or if a twelfth installment is in the works, per these comments made by star/producer Vin Diesel.

And yes, it is very possible that the untitled Hobbs movie (a director and release date have yet to be announced) serves as the second entry in the alleged finale trilogy. Like we said, things are a tad murky at the moment, but we can be sure whatever happens will happen fast. And furiously.

All of the Fast & Furious movies are now available to rent and/or purchase from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Several Nolan films — Memento, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Dunkirk — are all streaming on Peacock right now. Oppenheimer will join the party next next Friday (February 16).