Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Which film franchise has had the most Latino actors?

The Fast and The Furious film series is a series of action films that focuses on street racing and heists. Produced by Universal Studios, the series was established in 2001 with the eponymous first film, which has since been followed by four sequels, and two short films that tie into the series. In 2011, the most recent installment, Fast Five (also known as Fast & Furious 5 or Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist) was released in theaters. Together, the film series has grossed over U.S.$1.5 billion dollars worldwide (of which almost U.S.$700 million was from the domestic gross).

The films in the series are as follows.

The Fast and The Furious (2001), directed by Rob Cohen
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), directed by John Singleton
Turbo-Charged Prelude (2003), a six-minute short film
directed by Philip G. Atwell
The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006),
directed by Justin Lin
Los Bandoleros (2009), a twenty-minute short film
directed by Vin Diesel
Fast & Furious (2009), directed by Justin Lin
Fast Five (2011), directed by Justin Lin.

The films were based on a magazine article written by Ken Li entitled "Racer X." The screenplays were written by Gary Scott Thompson, Erik Bergquist and David Ayer (original film); Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (second film); Vin Diesel (Bandoleros short film); and Chris Morgan (Prelude short film, third film, fourth film and fifth film), respectively.

The stars of the film series include Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Ludacris Thom Barry and Dwayne Johnson.

But did you know of the numerous Latino stars who have been in the film franchise?

Michelle Rodríguez, of Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage, played Leticia "Letty" Ortiz in The Fast and The Furious, Los Bandoleros and Fast & Furious. A photo of her is also shown in Fast Five.

Jordana Brewster was born in Panama to a Brazilian mother and an American father. She was raised in England, the U.S. and in Brazil. She played Mia Torretto in The Fast and The Furious, Fast & Furious and Fast Five.

Eva Mendes, of Cuban heritage, played FBI agent Mónica Fuentes in 2 Fast 2 Furious. She has an uncredited cameo at the end of Fast Five.

Mo Gallini (sometimes credited as Matt Gallini) of Cuban and Lebanese heritage, played Enrique in 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Roberto "Sanz" Sánchez was born in Cuba. He played Roberto in 2 Fast 2 Furious.

John Ortiz, of Puerto Rican heritage, played Arturo Braga in Fast & Furious.

Laz Alonso, of Afro-Cuban heritage, played Fénix "Rise" Calderón in Fast & Furious.

Leonardo Nam was born in Argentina and raised in Argentina and Australia to Korean parents. He played Morimoto in The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift.

Mirtha Michelle, of Dominican heritage, played Cara Mirtha in Los Bandoleros and Fast & Furious.

Elsa Pataky, was born in Spain to a Spaniard father and a Hungarian/ Romanian mother. She played Elena Neves in Fast Five.

F. Valentino Morales, of Dominican and Italian heritage, played Malo in Los Bandoleros.

Celinés Toribio was born in the Dominican Republic. She played Malo's Wife in Los Bandoleros.

Tego Calderón, born in Puerto Rico, played Tego Leo in Los Bandoleros, Fast & Furious and Fast Five.

Don Omar, born in Puerto Rico, played Rico Santos in Los Bandoleros, Fast & Furious and Fast Five.

Luis "Trikz" Da Silva, of Portuguese heritage, played Diego in Fast Five.

Joaquim de Almeida was born in Portugal. He played Hernan Reyes in Fast Five.

Vin Diesel and franchise producer Neal Moritz are already developing the sixth film (tentatively titled Fast & Furious 6 or Fast Six) which will be written by Chris Morgan and directed by Justin Lin. Plans are for stars Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and Tyrese Gibson to return as well as others. On June 24, 2011, Vin Diesel revealed on his Facebook account that the release date for Fast & Furious 6 is May 27, 2013 in the U.S.

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