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‘Fast X’ director solves the ‘X’ factor: How do you actually pronounce the 'Furious' sequel's title?

So... is it ‘Fast X’ or ‘Fast Ten’?

By Benjamin Bullard
L to R: Vin Diesel and Director Louis Leterrier on the set of FAST X

We’ll go ahead and admit it: We’d be waving dollar bills in the theater attendant’s face even if Fast X had a gibberish title that was crammed with weird symbols and took 13 syllables to pronounce. That’s how hyped our anticipation overdrive is for the penultimate movie chapter in a franchise that, since the 2001 premiere of the original The Fast and the Furious, has more than lived up to its name.

Naming conventions can get tricky in a film franchise that now spans 10 mainline movies (as well as 2019’s fun Hobbs & Shaw spinoff). Universal Pictures started toying with the Fast Saga’s streetwise lingo early on, graffitiing 2 Fast 2 Furious across theater marquees as soon as the series’ second film arrived in 2003. Ever since, the studio’s never really let off the gas when it comes to clever sequel deviations on the basic “Fast & Furious” name. Sometimes there’s an actual number (Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, F9) and sometimes there’s not even a “Fast” or a “Furious” at all: Every FF movie title since Fast & Furious 6 has dispensed with at least one word or the other.

RELATED: 'Fast X' director teases Brie Larson's mystery character is a 'guardian angel' for Vin Diesel

Now, though, we’re up against something new: A big, bold “X” in that eye-arresting Fast X title, an obvious go-to marquee statement for a film set to commemorate 10 insane outings — with more than a few detours along the way — for Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and the extended Fast family. And just like the chatter back in 2017 over how to pronounce the name of Apple’s iPhone X (for the record, it’s “ten”), we’ve already heard both “X” and “ten” out in the wild as the street-level fan hype for Fast X builds.

Fast X director Louis Leterrier happens to be a Fast Saga megafan himself, amping the brewing war between Dom and new baddie Dante (Jason Momoa) as “the fastest telenovela of all time” in the newest edition of Empire magazine (on sale now). But along with all the early peeks at how Dom might’ve created more family drama than he ever bargained for, Leterrier also let slip the key ingredient in making sure you stick the landing when it’s time to say Fast X out loud.

Leterrier “pronounces it ‘Fast Ten,’ as in ‘fast ten your seatbelts,’” the director’s Empire feature reveals, definitively settling the matter from the mouth of what may be the planet’s most legit authority on the subject. Got that? Now and forever, it’s “Fast Ten” and not “Fast X” whenever the movie —  as you know it’s sure to — comes up in actual conversation.

Fair enough, Leterrier, and lesson learned —  but we’d be lying if we said at least a handful of us aren’t crestfallen to realize we’ve been saying the movie’s name wrong this whole time. There might, in fact, be a few stubborn holdouts among us, obstinate types who keep rockin’ right along with the “X”  pronunciation because it naturally just sounds so cool.

Either way, at least you’re officially equipped to ace your next Fast X test on paper, though Universal and even Leterrier himself will likely give you a free pass if you just can’t shake that tempting urge to say “X”. We’re tapping out while we’re still ahead on the whole “how do you pronounce it” debate...before someone gets us embroiled in a real verbal controversy (like whether there’s a hard “G” in “.gif.”)

Fast X is set to charge into theaters nationwide beginning May 19. Catch up with the fam over at Peacock, where The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Furious 7 are both streaming anytime.