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How is 'Fast & Furious' like 'Lord of the Rings'? Vin Diesel digs into challenge of building a mythology

Vin Diesel feels J.R.R. Tolkien's pain.

By Matthew Jackson
Vin Diesel at the "Fast X" Trailer Launch held at LA Live on February 9, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Later this year, The Fast Saga will finally drop its much-anticipated 10th installment, the aptly named Fast X. The film will serve as the penultimate chapter in the story that began more than two decades ago, setting the stage for a massive and star-packed finale that will close the book on the Toretto family. 

Ending that story — which has grown in scope and ambition with each passing installment — is a big task, and according to star and franchise leader Vin Diesel, that's one of the reasons it's finally time to bring the saga to an end. Speaking to Variety at the Fast X trailer launch event in Los Angeles Thursday night, Diesel broke down what's become the most difficult part of putting out film after film in the series. And no, it's not that aging makes action scenes more painful. 

RELATED: Dom Toretto vs. Iron Man? Vin Diesel wants to battle Robert Downey Jr. in final 'Fast & Furious'

"You know what gets harder? The work offscreen," Diesel said. "The expanding ... there's a reason why Tolkien stopped writing after a while [laughs], because it's so hard to continue mythologies. Nobody thinks about it in that context, but it's real."

While The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien did keep tinkering with his Middle-earth stories for most of his life, Diesel's point is definitely still a solid one, particularly when it comes to a franchise like this. We're talking about 10 films and one spinoff (and counting), and the nature of the series in the public eye means that each subsequent movie has to be bigger and more celebrity-laden than the last. We joke about how this franchise started with a crime drama about street racers and then seven movies later they were racing a submarine across an ice floe, but that's the kind of stakes-raising that made these films into global blockbusters, so each new installment has to keep up that pace. It's relentless, and if you're sitting behind the scenes tasked with making that work, it's bound to feel a little exhausting at some point. Still, based on the trailer for Fast X, it feels like they pulled it off. 

Fast X arrives in theaters May 19. Tickets are available now.

Gear up for Fast X with Fast & Furious 6, now streaming on Peacock.