Say what you will about the Fast And Furious franchise: It likes its men as big and beefy as an Arby’s menu. Hence, presumably, news this week that the series has now scooped up one of the biggest new big boys on the block for its upcoming 10th installment, with Deadline reporting that Reacher’s Alan Ritchson has signed on for Fast X.
It’s a hard decision to fault, given that Ritchson’s blend of charisma, humor, and sheer physical presence is the biggest asset that the Amazon series has going for it. The thought of him having an alpha-boy-off with Vin Diesel, John Cena (not confirmed for the film yet, but it’d be weird for him to dip), and fellow franchise newcomer Jason Momoa on the new movie sounds genuinely thrilling—if also a total nightmare for whichever poor cinematographer has to try to fit so many sheer gains into a single shot.
(It doesn’t hurt that Ritchson, while great, is also demonstrably not as famous as Vin Diesel, always a plus when trying to navigate the ego-heavy testosterone waves that flow, like an Axe Body Spray-scented zephyr, across the sets of these films.)
Fast X has already run into at least one major hiccup during its filming, as Justin Lin, whose Fast Five was instrumental in transforming the franchise from flashy street racing movies to, basically, “What if James Bond never got out of his car?”, departed the shoot a week into filming over “creative differences,” reportedly with Diesel. Louis Leterrier, who broke into film-making with Jason Statham’s Transporter movies before building up an eclectic resumé that veers from Now You See Me to the Edward Norton The Incredible Hulk to that scene where Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong hide in an elephant’s vagina in Grimsby, has stepped in as the film’s director.
Fast X is currently scheduled for a May 19, 2023 release date.