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David Ayer Vents Frustrations Over Rarely Getting Credit For Writing A Fast & Furious Movie-TGN

Summary

  • David Ayer, the screenwriter of The Fast and the Furious, feels that he doesn’t receive recognition for his work on the hugely successful franchise.
  • Ayer shares how he altered the original script and injected elements of street racing culture and diversity into the story.
  • He believes that he was excluded from the franchise’s narrative due to being an outsider and not participating in the industry’s social events.


The Fast and the Furious screenwriter David Ayer laments that he doesn’t get the credit for writing the movie that launched the huge multimedia franchise. Ayer is now best known as the writer-director of 2016’s Suicide Squad in addition to writing Training Day and directing Bright. However, his second screenplay after making his feature writing debut with 2000’s U-571 was the original 2001 The Fast and the Furious, which followed the formation of the bond between LAPD officer Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and street racer Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) during an undercover job.

Per Entertainment Weekly, Ayer appeared on a recent episode of the podcast Real Ones with Jon Bernthal. During the interview, Ayer revealed that he has “nothing to show” for writing the original The Fast and the Furious two decades later. After sharing how substantially he altered the original script (based on the Vibe article “Racer X”) and shaped the characters and situations that would recur in the franchise, he speculated that the narrative of the franchise’s construction was taken away from him because “I was always an outsider and… I don’t go to the f—ing parties.” Read Ayer’s full quote below:

Biggest franchise in Hollywood, and I don’t have any of it. I got nothing to show for it, nothing, because of the way the business works.

When I got that script, that s— was set in New York, it was all Italian kids, right? I’m like, “Bro, I’m not gonna take it unless I can set it in L.A. and make it look like the people I know in L.A., right?'”So then I started, like, writing in people of color, and writing in the street stuff, and writing in the culture, and no one knew s— about street racing at the time.

I went to a shop in the Valley and met with like the first guys that were doing the hacking of the fuel curves for the injectors and stuff like that, and they had just figured it out and they were showing it, and I’m like, ‘Oh f— yeah, I’m gonna put that in the movie.

The narrative is I didn’t do s—, right? It’s like people hijack narratives, control narratives, create narratives to empower themselves, right? And because I was always an outsider and because, like, I don’t go to the f—ing parties. I don’t go to the meals, I don’t do any of that stuff. The people that did were able to control and manage narratives because they’re socialized in that part of the problem. I was never socialized in that part of the problem so I was always like the dark, creative dude, beware.


The Fast Saga Has Come A Long Way Since 2001

Since the release of the original The Fast and the Furious, the franchise has continued to expand over the decades, through the 2023 release of Fast X. That movie is intended to be the beginning of a multi-part finale to the ongoing story. However, given that the franchise already includes 10 movies, the spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, and the animated series Fast & Furious Spy Racers, it seems unlikely that it will truly end there, perhaps instead branching out into several possible avenues for spinoffs.

Related: Why The Fast & Furious Franchise Is Ending (& When It Will)

At the time of writing, the Fast and Furious franchise has become almost unrecognizable from the pared-down crime story of the original movie. In addition to the death of Walker robbing the franchise of one of its central protagonists, the movies have grown larger and more propulsive with each successive entry. Taking on elements of blockbuster spy thrillers like Mission: Impossible, the franchise’s iconic car stunts have grown to include shocking feats like cars parachuting out of an airplane or hanging off of cliffs.

While things may have changed, none of the success of the franchise would have been possible without the original The Fast and the Furious. The movie’s more toned-down thrill ride allowed viewers to fall in love with the characters of Brian and Dom in addition to Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Mia (Jordana Brewster), who are also still important parts of the ensemble cast. The 2001 movie formed the spine of the franchise, and none of that could have existed without Ayer’s input.

Source: Real Ones with Jon Bernthal (via Entertainment Weekly)

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