The Fast And The Furious was almost entirely out of gas before Universal smartly brought in Chris Morgan and Justin Lin, who tinkered under the hood and and much to the surprise of everybody, restored it into Universal’s most valuable franchise outside ofJurassic Park. They smartly added energy by bringing back Vin Diesel and adding Dwayne Johnson and others. The studio is now looking for another big star to join the next film in a small role and then be a big part of the film that follows. Denzel Washington just turned down that opportunity, but they’ll undoubtedly get somebody important by the time The Conjuring helmer James Wan starts shooting the seventh film. 

Words from a Deadline piece by My Fleming Jr, ranting on why he believes studios can’t launch new film franchises anymore, instead relying on the tried and true.

The most interesting thing about the above is the part about Denzel Washington turning down a role in the next film – a a small role which would turn into a larger role in the film that comes after that one (I guess that means we can expect at least 2 more Fast & Furious flicks).

Now I’m wondering what this role could be. But I’m actually not surprised Denzel rejected the role, given his status. Yes, the franchise has been a huge success for Universal, raking in truck-loads of profits internationally, but, he’s still Denzel Washington, right? 

Although, given that he’s also starring in films like the upcoming 2 Guns, opposite Mark Wahlberg, I don’t think the appearing in a profitable, high-profile franchise like the Fast & Furious is that much worse. 

But I don’t know what the role is, so it may also be that it’s just not a role he’d want to play, especially if it’s a small part in the next film, with the potential to be larger in the film after it. Denzel’s no supporting player, is he?

So let’s see who they go after next. Clearly, they want a high-profile name for whatever this secret role is; and given that it’s one of the most diverse action film franchises around, the actor chosen just might not be white.

You can read Fleming’s full piece HERE.