Sunday, March 29, 2015

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: Film Franchise With Most Latino/Hispanic Actors

The Fast and The Furious film franchise is a series of action films that focuses on street racing and heists. Produced by Universal Pictures, the series was established in 2001 with the eponymous first film, which has since been followed by five sequels, two short films that tie into the series, and a video game series. On April 3, 2015, the most recent installment, Fast & The Furious 7 (also known as Furious 7) will be released in theaters. Together, the film series has grossed over US$2.3 billion dollars worldwide (of which almost US$938 million was from the domestic gross), it has become the all-time biggest franchise in the history of Universal Pictures. Paul Walker, who has starred as Brian O'Conner since 2001, will mark his final film appearance in Furious 7 due to his death on November 30, 2013 in a single car crash.

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
Fast & The Furious 6 (2013), directed by Justin Lin
Furious 7 (2015), directed by James Wan.

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, as well as third, fourth, fifth and sixth films), respectively.

The stars of the film series include Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Chris Ludacris Bridges, Thom Barry and Dwayne Johnson. In addition, Vin Diesel has been a producer on the following films in the franchise: Los Bandoleros, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & The Furious 6, and Furious 7.

The film series has spawned several racing video games for various systems. They include the arcade game The Fast and the Furious (2004, known as Wild Speed in Japan),and the PlayStation (and PlayStation 2) game The Fast and the Furious (2006). Several games have all been released for iOS (which are available on the iTunes App Store), for Android devices, for the PC (Windows OS), Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

But did you know of the numerous Latino/Hispanic 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 FuriousLos BandolerosFast & FuriousFast & The Furious 6, and Furious 7. 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 FuriousFast & FuriousFast FiveFast & The Furious 6 and Furious 7.

• 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 and Fast and the Furious 6.

• 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 FiveFast and the Furious 6 and Furious 7.

• 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 BandolerosFast & Furious and Fast Five.

• Don Omar, born in Puerto Rico, played Rico Santos in Los BandolerosFast & 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.

Nathalie Emmanuelle, of Dominican, Saint Lucian and English heritage, plays Megan Ramsey in Furious 7.

Noel Guglielmi, of Mexican and Italian heritage, played Héctor in Furious 7.

Ronda Rousey, of Afro-Venezuelan, Polish, English, and German heritage, played Kara in Furious 7.

Viktor Estrella was born in El Salvador. He played a Doctor in Furious 7.

Jorge Ferragut was born in Havana, Cuba to parents of Cuban and English heritage, played the Dominican Priest in Furious 7.

Romeo Santos, of Dominican and Puerto Rican heritage, played Mando in Furious 7.

Jorge-Luis Pillo, of Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican heritage, played a Cop in Furious 7.

Dwayne Johnson has expressed interest in future films in the series and stated that there are plans for a spinoff film featuring his character Hobbs, but that it would not be filmed or released until after Furious 7 is released. Paul Walker had stated that an eighth feature film was "guaranteed", with the studio also wanting ninth and tenth installments. However, Walker's death has left an uncertain fate for the franchise.

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