It has been more than 15 years since Brad Bird’s criminally underappreciated The Iron Giant landed in theaters. Now, the adventures of the hulking, misunderstood robot (memorably voiced by Vin Diesel) has been retooled in a “Signature Edition,” complete with two newly added scenes. The film will play in theaters in participating theaters around the country on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. (local time), with encore 12 p.m. noon showings on Oct. 4.
The first thing that Vin Diesel remembers about the production of his upcoming fantasy action flick, The Last Witch Hunter, is that it made him sneeze. “This was a very interesting moment, because we were shooting in the fields, and they wanted a particle effect,” Diesel tells Yahoo Movies in the video above, which features the actor’s running commentary on the film’s first full trailer. “And at the end of the day, everyone was sneezing. The film features Diesel as the immortal Kaulder, the titular hunter of witches who, as Michael Caine’s priest character puts it, “tasted more of life” than anyone in history.
The Fast and the Furious series has earned well over $2 billion at the box office (a total it is furiously adding to with the record-breaking release of Furious 7), and the franchise has earned plenty of additional dough from product placement. The car brands are, of course, the most obvious — if it’s a model/make of a sports car that can be souped-up, it has been in a Fast and Furious movie, though the franchise has a special place for Dodge Chargers and Mitsubishis. Panasonic: The series wasted no time in revealing its willingness to show a little brand: Just 23 seconds into 2001’s The Fast and the Furious we see a truck-full of Panasonic electronics.
Some symbols have endured through the Fast and Furious franchise: Dominic Toretto’s cross pendant. The two-story craftsman bungalow was the spot where Dom (Vin Diesel) first shared a Corona with Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker).
It has been nearly 15 years since Rob Cohen helmed the surprise international hit The Fast and the Furious, about a group of close-knit, law-flouting street racers. While Cohen didn’t direct the subsequent sequels, he has remained in contact with the main cast, including directing Fast patriarch Vin Diesel in the 2002 extreme-sports action flick XXX. More recently, Cohen directed Jennifer Lopez in the successful low-budget thriller The Boy Next Door, still in theaters, and has other projects in the pipeline.
After 14 years and more cast shakeups than some soap operas, the Fast and the Furious franchise now seems almost mythic, as if Vin Diesel and friends rode in on the SoCal sunset, destined for pop culture history. “I got turned on to [the story] as I witnessed the theft of a car from the front of a tuner shop in Queens,” Li, now 42, tells Yahoo Movies. The story followed a 30-year-old gear head named Rafael Estevez around the makeshift tracks of Manhattan’s Washington Heights and various outer-borough neighborhoods, where he hung out with and raced against a melting pot of young car freaks who bet huge wads of cash on their souped-up Asian sports cars.
Don’t worry about your Academy Award pool next year, because according to Vin Diesel, the Best Picture trophy has already been claimed. “[Furious 7] will probably win Best Picture at the Oscars, unless the Oscars don’t want to be relevant, ever,” he told Variety. “This will win Best Picture.” Hmmm: The film is tragically associated with the sad loss of Paul Walker, giving it an emotional punch lacking in the franchise’s previous installments.
Vin Diesel can’t get the last moments he spent with Paul Walker out of his head. The script that night called for a dangerous stunt in which Diesel’s character, Dom Toretto, drives into certain danger, zooming headfirst in order to save his FF family. The scene was so real and dangerous, Diesel’s own life flashed before his eyes — and it made him think of what might happen to his best friend should a stunt go awry and really kill him.
Never shy about his affection for the late Paul Walker — whom he fondly calls “Pablo” — Vin Diesel took to Facebook Tuesday to remember his Fast & Furious co-star, who died late last year. Along with his note, Diesel shared a new still photo from the film of him and Walker standing in a garage and looking solemn — a shot seemingly connected to a previously disclosed funeral scene from the film, which opens next year. The second photo that Diesel shared on Tuesday shows him as Torretto, wrapping his fists in tape.