Even though The Fast and the Furious films are not exactly classics of American cinema, apparently there's still some money to be made from the series -- so we probably should have seen this coming. Edmunds, a car enthusiast web site, is reporting that pre-production has begun on what could be the fourth film in the Furious franchise. Sources that have worked on the first three films told Edmunds that the fourth installment is "in development at Universal." So far there has yet to be any mention of a writer or director for the project, (previous directors in the series include Justin Lin and John Singleton) but it's not like it really matters. These films have never been about plot development and character study; all you really need is a crack team of stunt drivers.

Another film seemed inevitable after the not-so-subtle cameo by Vin Diesel at the end of Tokyo Drift (the third film in the series). According to Edmunds sources, the script will be reuniting characters from the first three films, including Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson. But it's not about the actors, it's all about the cars. Edmunds reports that there could be a reappearance of the 1970 Dodge Charger from the first film, as well as mention of a 1987 Buick GNX being included in the fun. Since my car knowledge is limited to what I've picked up from video games, I'll take their word for it that watching a Buick in action is something to look forward to. According to Edmunds, Universal is planning on a Summer 2008 release, but there has been no official word from the studio on the project. So stay tuned for any updates that come our way.