– by Joseph Jammer Medina

EXCLUSIVE: No one would have guessed that a little film called The Fast and the Furious would go on to kickstart one of the biggest franchises in film history. I remember sitting in a theater for the first time and seeing that very first trailer pop up on screen. At the time, to me, it looked BOOOOORING. I wasn’t much into cars, and while it may have just been the film projector at the time, the actual footage came across as grainy and cheap-looking to me.

Of course, my perspective changed when I actually saw the film for the first time. It may have been no Citizen Kane, but as a teenage kid with a pulse, its blend of street-racing action and family drama was pretty enticing. In the years since then, the franchise has basically turned into a spy series with cars, but you can’t take anything away from director Rob Cohen for helming that first movie.

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Speaking with our own Gig Patta while promoting his latest film, Hurricane Heist, Cohen reflected on making that first movie.

“Well, making The Fast and the Furious was a beautiful experience. No one believed in the film, but me and the actors. No one showed up every day, but me, the crew and the actors. Now there are a thousand fathers, who would say, “It’s my movie!” They didn’t care back then.

There was something about shooting on the streets of Los Angeles back then. It was a very hot summer. You’re all around the cars and the cast. It was that quiet feeling that we were making something special even though no knew what. No one knew why it was special. It felt like every day that everybody was very happy to get to work. That was a very pleasant experience.”

The film went on to spawn the John Singleton-directed sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious before nearly crashing in flames with the Justin Lin-directed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. It was only in Fast and Furious that they brought back the elements of that first film to create the series we have today.

What did you think of that first film when you saw it? In your wildest dreams, did you think the franchise could end up as big as it did? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.