The fast and the furious: tokyo drift

Han (Sung Kang, left) và Roman (Tyrese Gibson) in “F9,” directed by Justin Lin & co-written by Lin và Daniel Casey. Han first appeared in the third “Fast and Furious” film, 2006’s “The Fast và the Furious: Tokyo Drift.” This story contains plot spoilers for Universal’s “F9,” if you haven’t seen the movie yet, kiểm tra out our reviews or pĐánh Giá feature instead.

When Universal’s blockbuster sequel “F9” opens stateside this weekend, “Fast và Furious” fans will be rewarded with the over-the-top action, Vin Diesel heroics & musclebound melodrama that have fueled the $6 billion br& for two decades.

But among the “Fast” fandom there exists a segment of long-suffering enthusiasts who may feel even more vindicated as director Justin Lin returns to the driver’s seat of “F9,” bringing some familiar faces along with him.

“Tokyo Drift” faithful, our time is now.

Fans who have sầu loved (& defended) the third installment of the franchise for years well know the rooftop advice that drift-racing sage Han Lue a.k.a. Han Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang) imparted lớn young Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) in 2006’s “The Fast và the Furious: Tokyo Drift”: “Life’s simple — you make choices and you don’t look baông chồng.”

But what if you make choices ... & you bởi vì look back? In “F9,” scripted by Daniel Casey and Lin (from a story by Lin, Casey and longtime Lin collaborator Alfrevì chưng Botello), the niftiest triông chồng doesn’t involve the manipulation of giant magnets or rocket science, but time.

That & a fondness for one of the most underappreciated films in the series.

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“F9" star Vin Diesel, director Justin Lin, a returning Sung Kang và more stars on the “Fast & Furious’ family reunion và what’s next for the franchise.quý khách vẫn xem: Rê đuôi xe pháo hình trạng tokyo

Bending time, after all, is what first brought Kang’s Han baông chồng to lớn life in 2009’s “Fast & Furious,” the first sequel released after the character was fatally T-boned in his Mazdomain authority RX-7 at the kết thúc of “Tokyo Drift.” Director Lin trusted the audience would go along with a timeline displacement, and the fourth, fifth & sixth installments became prequels — allowing người favorite Han to ride another day.

Now in “F9,” Han makes the ultimate return — baông xã in action & alive sầu, in the present, thanks to lớn a soapy twist explaining that his death had been faked all along. Not that Kang was counting on a resurrection.

“I really thought Han was put lớn rest; there’s vigils, there’s a tombstone. How many pictures vị you see of Han’s grave?” said Kang, who credits his return khổng lồ the films in part khổng lồ the “Justice for Han” fan campaign. “I can’t believe he’s baông chồng. Even as the actor who plays hyên ổn, I’m lượt thích, ‘How did this happen?’”


Sung Kang, photographed in Los Angeles, returns khổng lồ the “Fast và Furious” franchise — again — in “F9.” I can’t believe sầu he’s bachồng. Even as the actor who plays hyên ổn, I’m lượt thích, ‘How did this happen?

Actor Sung Kang on the return of his “Fast” character, Han

With the final chapters of the “Fast” saga on the horizon, many roads seem lớn point to the origins of the franchise. Reaching baông xã into lớn the past, “F9" retcons a long-lost Toretto lớn brother named Jakob (John Cena), whose bitter history with Dom predates even 2001’s “The Fast và the Furious.”

And as the Toretto lớn clan splits up lớn stop Jakob from acquiring world-threatening weapons tech, a side mission sends Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) khổng lồ find a trio of rocket scientists who might help — rocket scientists who happen khổng lồ be ex-Tokyo drifters Sean, Earl (Jason Tobin) and Twinkie (Shad “Bow Wow” Moss).

Baông chồng in 2006, in the first “Fast” movie directed by Lin, they were car-crazy high school students in over their heads with the Yakuza. A decade & a half later they’re engineering experts whose lademo automotive sầu experiment — a rocket-powered 1984 Pontiac Fiero — plays a crucial role as “F9" hurtles toward new heights and Lin orchestrates his own “Tokyo Drift” reunion within “F9.”

It’s not the first franchise reappearance of a character from Han’s Tokyo days: Blaông chồng made a brief cameo in 2015’s “Furious 7,” opposite Diesel, in a scene set shortly after Han’s death in which Dom travels khổng lồ Japan & Sean gives him the iconic Toretlớn cross necklace found in the wreckage.

He’d been asked khổng lồ return khổng lồ reprise the role in 2017’s “Fate of the Furious” but says he felt the character would have been shoehorned in without good reason. So when the idea of coming bachồng for “F9" arose, Blaông chồng spoke with Lin about his concerns for how his character was portrayed.

“I wanted to lớn portray that side of Sean that he learned from Han, that he learned life lessons & wisdom,” said Blaông chồng, who also hoped that bringing Sean bachồng would feel organic to the plot. “I wanted there to lớn be some sort of significance in how he was going to be a part of the team & part of the family.”

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It took many installments for critics to lớn get onboard with the suspension of disbelief that is now part và parcel of any “Fast” movie’s DNA. Indeed, The Times’ own Kenneth Turan described “Tokyo Drift” in his 2006 Đánh Giá as “best viewed as an energetic cartoon, an unintentionally amusing, head-shaking guilty pleasure.”

But Casey had been a tín đồ of the franchise even before he started working with Lin, when he caught “Tokyo Drift” at a Michigan movieplex. “I remember specifically loving ‘Tokyo Drift,’” said the screenwriter, who was especially impressed by the cameo in which Diesel’s Dom made a surprise appearance, tying together the first three films.

“I had khổng lồ appreciate the ingenuity of this super shiny Hollywood movie actually taking the clever turn and pulling in a guy we all knew,” said Casey.


The cast reunions in “F9" are more than just clever; leaning in to the audience’s long memories, they’re built for emotional, world-building payoffs. And with “F9" opening a year later than planned due to the pandemic as audiences return to theaters after months of isolation, the sight of long-lost friends exchanging loaded emotional glances and embracing in bear hugs might hit even harder. They also speak khổng lồ the long & personal reach Lin has had in the franchise’s history.

In his first solo film as a director, the 2001 Sundance hit “Better Luchồng Tomorrow,” Lin had cast Kang as a cool, disaffected character named Han, as well as actor Jason Tobin as Han’s cousin, Virgil.

Five years later when he got the “Fast and Furious” directing gig, Lin brought Kang and Tobin with hlặng — và shaped the sequel khổng lồ include the kinds of atypical Asian American characters he wanted to lớn see onscreen. Kang put his own spin on the “Tokyo Drift” Han, borrowing spiritually from his “Better Luông xã Tomorrow” role, & Tobin played resident drift tech expert later named Earl in post-production.

Like Kang, Tobin had remained cđại bại with the filmmaker through the years. Lin had brought hyên ổn inlớn subsequent projects, including his 2007 indie “Finishing the Game” và the critically acclaimed Cinemax series “Warrior,” which Lin executive produces. After wrapping the second season of that show, Lin emailed Tobin saying he was working to lớn get Earl baông xã inlớn the franchise.

“My first reaction,” Tobin wrote in an tin nhắn, “was, who the f— is Earl!?”

It took hyên ổn a moment to lớn realize Lin intended lớn bring his character bachồng into lớn the fold.

“It had been 14 years between ‘Tokyo Drift’ và ‘F9,’ and in those interlặng years I had experienced all the ups và downs of being an actor, times when I felt I was a million miles from my dreams. Not once did I think I’d be back in the franchise,” said Tobin, who notes that Earl shares a winking, canonical last name with his “Better Luông xã Tomorrow” character, Virgil Hu.

Reuniting with his “Tokyo Drift” co-stars on the London set of “F9,” Kang enjoyed catching up on life, 15 years later. “Everyone’s a little older & they’re dads, và it’s cool lớn see the men who these guys have turned inlớn,” said Kang. “We just hung out. We talked about real estate. We talked about air conditioning units, when you need khổng lồ reModel your house. ... We sat there together the whole time, drinking tea.”

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A new trailer for Universal’s ‘Fast và Furious 9" reveals Han’s shocking return. Actor Sung Kang addresses the người movement to lớn bring his character baông xã and teases his ‘emotional’ homecoming.

Even for Kang, stepping onkhổng lồ a “Fast & Furious” phối again after two films away felt a bit like walking into lớn a high school cafeteria. “That’s the analogy I use, like, ‘Will you be accepted?’ The night before, I was lượt thích, ‘I hope I don’t have to lớn eat lunch by myself. I hope somebody will eat lunch with me.’”

But having spent so many years in the franchise — và with his own “F9" involvement under a tight veil of secrecy as they filmed — Kang became the bridge between his “Tokyo Drift” cast mates and the rest of the ensemble.

“A lot of them hadn’t worked with the other actors,” he said. “I know everybody, so I was lượt thích the connective sầu tissue. I wanted them lớn feel welcome, lượt thích, ‘This is your trang chính too. You guys are part of this house, this family.’”

Returning to lớn his Earl character was a meaningful experience khổng lồ Tobin, who saw many familiar faces on both sides of the camera. Seeing fans react to Earl’s appearance in last year’s “F9" trailer was even more unexpected.

“I was really surprised when the first trailer came out, how many fans remembered me and would quote lines baông chồng to me,” he said. “I hadn’t realized that my character had meant so much to people.”

Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) & Roman (Tyrese Gibson) strap into a modified new ride after crossing paths with the “Tokyo Drift” crew. The ways Han, Sean & the rest of the “Tokyo Drift” crew are integrated bachồng inlớn “F9" raises questions about what their characters were up khổng lồ during the intervening sequels. In Lin’s eyes, for example, there’s an entire saga’s worth of story in an “F9" flashback sequence explaining where Han has been, physically & emotionally, since the events of “Tokyo Drift” — events that find hlặng a changed man.

“I wanted to lớn present something where, if you’re interested, there could almost be a movie about how everything arrived there,” he said. “Hopefully you’re intrigued.”

Rethành viên Neela from “Tokyo Drift,” Suki of “2 Fast,” even Idris Elba’s superpowered villain of spin-off “Hobbs & Shaw”? That world-building xúc tích could conceivably apply to any characters of the extended “Fast” family, although further spin-offs have sầu yet to be announced.

“I feel lượt thích ‘Fast 9" is this weird Venn diagram. Or is it Vin diagram?” laughed Lin, who is phối khổng lồ return to lớn helm “Fast 10" và “Fast 11,” “where it’s almost like the intersection of four movies, except three of them you only get a glimpse of. And if you are ever intrigued, there is a whole world and characters that inhabit it.”

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