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‘Fast X’ isn't going to space, so director Louis Leterrier upped the ante with more practical stunts

You don't need to go to outer space to have a good time.

By Josh Weiss
FAST X (2023)

When Louis Leterrier accepted the job of directing Fast X last year, he found himself presented with a nerve-wracking question: How in the hell was he going to top Tej and Roman's trip to outer space in F9?  

It seemed that a franchise known for a collection of ever-increasing set pieces had reached the zenith of blockbuster insanity. But with two chapters still left to go, Leterrier needed to figure out a way to up the ante, which he did by insisting on more practical stunts that would provide the movie a genuine sense of realism and hearken back to believability of the series' earlier installments.

RELATED: How Jason Momoa's 'Fast X' story connects to 'Fast Five,' and what we need to remember about that vault scene

"You need to step it up," the filmmaker explained to Esquire Middle East. "What I wanted to do on this one, because it’s very much my style, was to ground it more in reality. I wanted to — no pun intended — land it back on Earth. They went into space in number nine, and I was like, 'Okay, they went to space, there’s no way I can top that.’ But what I can do is do stuff that we’ve never done before practically, such as rolling a one-ton bomb — an actual one ton metal ball in the streets of Rome, and hope not to destroy the Colosseum."

He continued: "Obviously we had visual effects help, but we just needed to keep everything grounded in the practical. The visual effects were mainly for safety and scope, but we needed the basis to stay in our reality. Without that, it would become too much. I wanted it to feel like Fast 1, Fast 3, and Fast 5 — movies that feel grounded. That is my style, and everyone accepted that, so everyone was really on board. Everyone was excited to re-explore physical stunts."

FAST X (2023)

While Leterrier couldn't exactly put his cast in real danger (after all, not everyone can be Tom Cruise), he did put them through the ringer with a number of Hollywood tricks meant to simulate the death-defying antics we've come to associate with Dominic Toretto & co. 

"Imagine being on top of a 20-foot robot that can move so fast and you’re inside a metal box," he said. "It’s really a car that we bolted something on top. That’s when you get the truth — you don’t get acting, you get reacting. There’s true acting needed, of course, because you have to imagine the reality of everything, but there’s a lot of real reacting that happens, too."

Fast X will overclock the speed limit Friday, May 19.

Relive a portion of the Fast Saga with Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7 — both of which are streaming on Peacock. If you want even more Vin Diesel action, then be sure to check out xXxPitch BlackThe Chronicles of Riddick, and Riddick.