With the recent release of The Fast Saga’s newest film F9 completely dominating the box office, fans of the franchise are revelling in the fact that they’ve finally got another installment that’s taking them back to theaters in the masses. Tenet Director Christopher Nolan apparently counts himself among these fans, as he has said he’s a huge fan of the franchise, namely Tokyo Drift. This compliment is not lost on Sung Kang, who made his Fast debut in Tokyo Drift and reprised his role in F9.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter where he talks about the honor of returning to the Fast Franchise a number of times even though he supposedly died in Tokyo Drift, Sung Kang reveals just what a compliment from Christopher Nolan means to him. He says that having such a Hollywood icon complimenting his work is “validating”, especially since the Fast films were never meant to be such big productions in the beginning. Here’s what Kang feels, in his own words:
It’s super validating when you get validation from your peers. The irony of the Fast movies is that they were supposed to be B-movies at first, and now we have Oscar winners like Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron coming to play with us. And Christopher Nolan, a filmmaker like that, his statement gives you insight that the guy is a true film lover. They play Tokyo Drift all day, every day, somewhere. It’s a great hotel movie and it’s fun. So it’s just so validating. You kind of have to laugh a little bit, because at one time, it had a prejudice associated with it. It was like, ‘It’s a corny Fast and Furious movie.’ But now, so many people want to come and play with us, right? So we’re doing something right.
Classic “started at the bottom, now we’re here” story, right? The first Fast & Furious film came out 20 years ago. It certainly doesn’t feel that long, even though the franchise has come so far in that time. The Fast Saga was always supposed to be full of family and fun - now they can just do it with a bigger budget.
Sung Kang talks about big names in Hollywood that “want to come and play”, and it’s true. Helen Mirren even was able to drive a Fast car on the big screen this year. F9 is particularly special because so many of the OG players, or at least ones we haven’t seen in a while came back out to play to give us a nice blast from the past.
The Fast franchise is able to do so many amazing things, like become the blockbuster that it is now and pull off some seriously crazy stunts and feats. This is why the franchise has gained such a following, and probably why it has caught the attention of Christopher Nolan, much to Sung Kang’s delight.