By: Frank Williams Jr.
While plans are still being worked out, Variety Magazine put out an article saying the hugely popular series wants to shoot part of the eighth film in the “Fast and Furious” series in Cuba.
“Universal Pictures is currently in the process of seeking approval from the United States and Cuban governments to explore shooting a portion of the next installment of the ‘Fast & Furious’ series in Cuba,” a spokeswoman for the studio said.
Exotic destinations are a staple of the “Fast and Furious” films. Previous locales included Dubai and Rio. The setting is also advantageous because the series has an avid Hispanic audience.
To date, nothing of this scale has hit Cuba. The “Fast and Furious” franchise is known for their gravity-defying stunts and screen-flooding explosions. The only previous Hollywood movie to be shot in Cuba was a small indie starring Giovanni Ribisi called “Papa,” which came out last year.
However, there still are several problems being faced. Is the country capable of handling a big-budget shoot that a film like this?
Insiders are hopeful that any doubts will be assured by the time production begins in the spring. There are a number of advantages to shooting in Cuba. There are a variety of settings that could appeal to filmmakers. Ranging from beaches, tropical mountains — to highways, railways and SOMETHING of a transportation infrastructure.
The country also has its own film industry which has its own soundstages with personnel. Food and labor is also cheaper than it would be in The States.
The major disadvantage is a lack of internet. Verizon and Sprint have offered roaming in the country, but a production of this scale would need to bring in a satellite-based wireless internet system.
Though Cuba and the West haven’t had this good of a relationship in years. Cuban citizens are even relatively well versed in American pop culture. Hollywood films are shown on television and more recent films are frequently pirated and sold on USB drives.
The next “Fast and Furious” film comes out on April 17, 2017. Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson are on board to return in starring roles, while “Straight Outta Compton’s” F. Gary Gray will take over as director.