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Fast X Director Reveals How They Pulled Off Those Shocking, Surprise Returns
Fast X director Louis Leterrier talks bringing stars back and just how many more of these movies we'll get.
A Fast & Furious film is a massive undertaking for any director, but for Louis Leterrier, Fast X felt like a particularly big job. Not only did he have to step in and quickly take over the project from outgoing director Justin Lin, but he had to engineer some very big reveals, including a couple of cameos we didn't see coming. So, how did he do it?
SPOILERS for Fast X ahead!
Bringing back The Rock
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about how the film came together, Leterrier revealed what it was like to join the franchise -- thanks in part to previous work with stars Nathalie Emmanuel and Jason Statham -- and how he pulled off those major cameos that set the stage for more crazy action in the next installment. The film's biggest surprise, which was reported even before Fast X premiered, is undoubtedly the return of Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs, not because we thought Hobbs was dead, but because Johnson himself seemed to have made up his mind about never returning to the franchise. What changed? According to Leterrier, it had a lot to do with Fast X itself.
RELATED: The Ending of Fast X Explained
"Ultimately, the movie [made the deal]," Leterrier said. "I didn’t know Dwayne, personally, but we reached out to Dwayne and Dwayne’s team. We sort of looked at each other from across the room and winked a few months back, saying, 'We should work together.' And then I had this idea and I presented it to the producers and the studio. And then we reached out to Dwayne and his team and said, 'Just come and watch the movie. You have to love the movie first.' So he came to see the movie and really loved it, and then we started talking. It was very smooth, and frankly, as a fan, I could not conceive continuing the franchise without either Dwayne or Gal Gadot."
Gal Gadot's Gisele lives
Speaking of Gal Gadot, the other major surprise at the end of Fast X is the reveal that her character, Gisele Yashar, didn't actually die back in Fast & Furious 6. She's been around this whole time, apparently working with Cipher (Charlize Theron), or at least coming out of hiding to assist in a plan to take down Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa) very recently. Though Leterrier didn't go into details about how he got Gadot, whose career has skyrocketed since her Fast & Furious days, to return, he did note that it felt right from the beginning.
"I was on the set with her," the director said. "I was lucky enough to see Gal Gadot and give her a big hug and a thank you at the end of the shoot. That was a highlight for me. I was lucky enough to direct one commercial with her, and I saw the power of Gal Gadot for 30 seconds. So, now that I get to not only work with her but also bring back Gisele into the franchise, I’m the happiest fan in the world."
It remains to be seen just how much Gisele and Hobbs will have too do in the next installment of the franchise, particularly given the long-reported tension between Johnson and franchise star Vin Diesel. It also remains to be seen exactly how many films still remain in this franchise. Earlier this month, after we'd been hearing for years for the upcoming 11th installment would close out the series, Diesel hinted that Fast X might actually be the launch of a trilogy of movies. So, which is it? For Leterrier, it's all about focusing on the present, at least for now.
"Let’s see what happens," Leterrier said. "Going back to every other franchise in the world — except for Lord of the Rings, where they had the books and knew when they needed to stop — you don’t work on the next next movie. You can have high hopes for what’s to come, but you should work and give your best to the one movie that you’re working on. So I will give my best to Part 11 or Part B, and we shall see what happens."
Fast X is now playing. Fast & Furious 11 is set to hit theaters sometime in 2025.