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"The Conjuring" director James Wan's new film "Insidious: Chapter 2" opens this Friday, but earlier this week he started shooting his next project, the seventh installment in Universal's lucrative (and ludicrous) "Fast and Furious" franchise. Reuniting series regulars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson (depending on who you talk to), and Tyrese Gibson, the movie will also introduce new characters played by Jason Statham (the bad guy, as glimpsed during "Furious 6"'s credits cookie), Kurt Russell, and international action superstar Tony Jaa.
Now you can add another name to that roster, reveals Variety: Djimon Hounsou.
Hounsou is a noted character actor who got his big break in Steven Spielberg's "Amistad" and has gone on to enjoy a surprisingly deep and varied career, starring in everything from "Blood Diamond" to "The Tempest" to "Constantine." He can also be seen next summer in another highly anticipated tentpole release, Disney and Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," in which he plays Kree agent Korath.
The plot of "Fast and Furious 7" (spoiler alert) concerns Statham's character, the brother of Luke Evans's villain in "Furious 6." Statham intends to go after our beloved underground street racing crew one by one, while the rest of the team targets Statham for killing one of their own (Han, in a bizarre wraparound to "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," still easily the series highlight). From what we understand, Wan wants to turn it into a '70s-style road race/revenge movie, and he apparently has some unbelievable stuff planned visually.
The "Fast and the Furious" franchise is one of the rare series that revs up increased interest with each installment, with this summer's "Furious 6" making more money than the more polished (and way more expensive) studio sequel "Star Trek Into Darkness." Justin Lin, who has directed every installment since "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," finally stepped away after this last movie. And while we're sad to see him go, we think Wan will do a bang-up job.
"Fast and Furious 7" opens July 11, 2014. Get your motors runnin'.