Fast and Furious, Movies

An all-female “Fast and Furious” is happening


The Fast and the Furious franchise has always had memorable female characters, and now an all-female spin-off is coming.

In an interview this week with MTV to talk up “Fast and Furious 9,” which hits theaters May 22, Vin Diesel, who plays the character Dominic Toretto in the franchise and produced some of the films, said he’s already working on an all-female spin-off and that a script is almost complete.

‘I’ve created a female spin-off,” he said. “And that script comes next month, so we will see.”

It’s something Diesel hinted at almost two years ago, but this time he’s actually named people working on the film. For example, he mentioned that Nicole Perlman, Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet were involved with the script.

Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel – Photo credit: Fast & Furious/Facebook

Perlman wrote the script for “Guardians Of the Galaxy” while Beer was a writer for “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser” and Robertson-Dworet was a member of the teams behind scripts for “Captain Marvel” and “Tomb Raider.”

There aren’t any details but there are plenty of characters to draw from, for both the good side and bad. Natural picks would include Letty Ortiz and Mia Toretto, played by Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster, respectively. Then there are the more recent additions like hacker Ramsay, played by Nathalie Emmanuel, and the baddie Cipher, played by Charlize Theron.

“Fast and Furious” is one of the few franchises where a spin-off has proven successful. The first was last year’s “Hobbs & Shaw,” which according to Imdb has grossed close to $760 million worldwide.

As for the original “Fast” franchise, it’s set to come to an end with a planned 10th instalment. This final film is expected in 2021.



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Movies

Meet the reel stars of “Ford v. Ferrari”


Asked to identify the stars of the Oscar-nominated film “Ford v. Ferrari,” you’d likely respond with the names Christian Bale and Matt Damon. Indeed, they were the A-list movie stars who played the two leading roles, Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby, respectively.

But when it comes to the “reel stars” of the movie, at least from an auto racing perspective, the correct answers are Robert Nagle and Tony Hunt.

Stunt coordinator Roger Nagle and Tony Hunt, stunt driver for Christian Bale (and wearing blue Ford

You may not have heard of them until now, but Nagle was the movie’s stunt coordinator and Hunt was the driver handling the cars supposedly being driven by Bale as Miles.

One reason the movie has been such a success, both with the audience of Hollywood story fans and with a car-savvy contingent, is that while director James Mangold knows how to share a story, he also knows he’s not a car guy, so he relied on Nagle to bring the on-track excitement to the big screen.

Nagle and Hunt were in Las Vegas this past weekend as part of “The Perfect Lap” promoting the movie’s release February 11 on DVD, Blue-Ray and for download. Even before then, they and others will learn on February 9 whether the film wins any of the four Academy Awards for which it has been nominated. It also was revealed at the Vegas event that the musical score from the movie will be released as a vinyl record.

The promotional tour’s visit to Las Vegas, just one of several stops, took place at the Shelby Heritage Center, where Shelby Mustangs and F-150s are assembled and where there is a weekly Saturday morning Cars and Coffee Las Vegas gathering in the parking lot.

A vintage Mustang in Bullitt-green color draws attention at the Cars and Coffee Las Vegas event in t

A vintage Mustang in Bullitt-green color draws attention at the Cars and Coffee Las Vegas event in t

Nagle raced in sports cars until he ran out of money. It was about at the end of his racing career that he met a move stunt coordinator who invited him to do some driving in The Dale Earnhardt Story, a made-for-ESPN movie.

“The creative side drew me in,” said Nagle, who has complied 85 film credits, including such movies as “Talladega Nights,” “The Hangover,” “Fast Five,” “Total Recall,” “Jack Reacher,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Captain America,” “Captain Marvel,” “John Wick,” “Baby Driver” and, of course, “Ford v. Ferrari.”

He recalled a Saturday morning telephone call from Mangold, inviting him to meet Monday morning, and two weeks later they were in production. His duties as stunt coordinator ranged from finding such drivers as Hunt and designing and choreographing the racing scenes.

Hunt (left) and Nagle greet fans at Shelby Heritage Center | Twentieth Century Fox photo

Hunt (left) and Nagle greet fans at Shelby Heritage Center | Twentieth Century Fox photo

The movie’s opening scenes take place at a race at the Willow Springs race track in Southern California, and since the race that is portrayed never actually happened, Mangold turned to Nagle to create the story and to stage the action. He wrote and choreographed the scene, which was transformed into an animated version, and finally was filmed with real cars.

Nagle said his job, and that of second-unit stunt director Darrin Prescott (who also played the role of Bob Bondurant in the movie), is “making it look very exciting and dangerous, but also making it safe (for the stunt team).”

Regarding the driving team for “Ford v. Ferrari,” Nagle said there were special challenges since the cars they were using – Ford GT40, Ferrari P3 and Porsche racing cars – are from a previous era and the cockpit dimensions of those vehicles limited who could fit inside to drive them.

Anyone taller than 6 foot couldn’t fit in the GT40 and you had to be 5-foot-8 or shorter to fit into the Porsches. Plus, he added, “you also needed people with his level of talent.”

Former racers have found new careers in the movies | Twentieth Century Fox photo

Former racers have found new careers in the movies | Twentieth Century Fox photo

The “his” in this case is Tony Hunt. Hunt grew up with auto racing. His grandfather, Joe Hunt, was an Indy car mechanic turned car builder turned car owner with a 45-year career that included fielding cars for Tony and Gary Bettenhausen, Jim Hurtubise, Joe Leonard and Al Unser. Tony’s father, Tom, not only raced but served as vice president of the U.S. Auto Club.

Tony started racing quarter-midgets, moved into formula cars and midgets and sprints (he was a multiple USAC winner) and then stock cars. He was racing stock cars in North Carolina and trying to figure out how to move up to the next level of the sport when he was invited to drive a car in a commercial being shot at Darlington Raceway.

He also did driving in an episode of the TV series ‘Coach” and then followed with a series of eight movies, from “Herbie Fully Loaded” to “The Fate of the Furious,” “Venom” and “Ford v. Ferrari.” He’s also driving in “Fast & Furious 9,” which could be known simply as “F9” by the time it opens in theaters in May 2020.

A Ferrari racing car and a Shelby Super Snake Ford Mustang were parked in front of the Shelby Herita

A Ferrari racing car and a Shelby Super Snake Ford Mustang were parked in front of the Shelby Herita

Hunt said he finds the same sort of intensity and adrenaline rush doing movies as he did on the race track. However, he said, and Nagle agreed, you have to be more flexible in movie work. Racing has a schedule. Drivers know what time qualifying takes place, what their race-day schedule will be.

In movie work, “your life changes with a phone call,” Nagle noted.

Hunt said that while there are detailed scripts even for stunt drivers, things are constantly being revised and suddenly you’re no longer on page 19 but must jump to page 62. As for a work schedule, shooting days typically run 16 hours and, in the case of “Ford v. Ferrari,” that’s 16 hours in the hot and humid conditions of summertime in Georgia.

But Hunt said he especially likes working on a film such as “Ford v. Ferrari” because of the way it pays homage to the sport’s history. He also said he’s honored to be part of a movie that has been so well-received, and not only by racing and car enthusiasts but a much-larger general audience.

“As time goes by,” he said, “I think we’re going to appreciate this more and more.”

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This article, written by Larry Edsall, was originally published on ClassicCars.com, an editorial partner of Motor Authority.



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adam carolla, chassy media, Commentary, documentary, dvd, Movies, nate adams, netflix, tom Stahler, Uppity, Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story, Willy T. Ribbs

Racing to the movies – ‘Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story’ | ClassicCars.com Journal


Willy T. Ribbs at Indy in 1993 | Dan Boyd photo

Lewis Hamilton is poised to become the winningest driver in Formula One history. Many think he may be the greatest of all time, and certainly for his era. The famed British racer is a black man, and while he overcame obstacles, he was not subject to the kinds of barriers faced by another black racer 35 years ago.

Willy T. Ribbs tests a Brabham Formula One car at Estoril, Portugal | Chassy Media photo

Willy T. Ribbs, an American, tested with Brabham – and was quick enough to be in the big show – but never got to turn a competitive wheel in the highest form of motorsport.

Ribbs’ life and racing career is the subject of new movie showing on Netflix.

Uppity Trailer

Willy, his son Theo and I casually sat together at a picnic table during lunch three years ago at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the SVRA historic racing weekend. He was there as a former Indianapolis 500 participant driving in the Pro/Am race.

We had a warm, engaging and friendly chat as we reminisced about Trans-Am, IMSA and so many other races I had watched as he raced. While chatting, he told me that Adam Carolla, a common acquaintance of ours, was set to make a documentary about him. He got a big grin on his face as he said, “It’s called ‘Uppity’.” We both laughed — hard. Not because of the racist slur – but for what we both knew it meant.

We had met many years before, in the 1980s, at Road America when my dad was the track’s promoter with his business partner, Carl Haas. For all the things I had heard people whisper under their breath, I found Willy to be quite charming and very kind to a teen fan. I had always held him in very high esteem, as a person and as a race driver.

Certainly, Ribbs was an anomaly. A black man winning races in what was otherwise a white male dominated sport. I knew Lyn St. James back then as well. I had really looked up to both of them as they broke unwritten barriers that today’s females and people of color really don’t have to face in motorsport.

From the moment Willy told me about the documentary, I was eager to see it. Carolla and his group, including producer Nate Adams, have become phenomenal storytellers in several racing-centric films including Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman, The 24 Hour War, and Shelby American. Uppity is yet another great historical document from the talented folks at Corolla’s Chassy Media. Their fascination with the subjects they tackle make for viewing that sucks you into the story.

Ribbs racing in the British Formula Ford Series | Chassy Media

The grandson of a successful plumbing company owner in San Jose, California, Ribbs was fascinated with cars and racing his whole life. His father was a hobbyist sports car racer in the 1960s. From the time he was a kid, Willy had dreams of winning the Formula One World Championship and/or the Indianapolis 500. Much of his grit and wisdom seemed to be channeled from his grandfather, who hated racing and expected his grandson to take over the family business.

Instead of going to college, Willy took his educational savings and, like so many aspiring drivers, went to England to race in the British Formula Ford series. He put down a winning record, but ran out of money before he could make the step into Formula 3. The UK, even in the 1970s, did not have the same attitudes about color as the young, talented driver would experience upon returning to the United States.

Ribbs won many races for Jack Rousch | Chassy Media

Needless to say, in NASCAR, Formula Atlantic, Trans-Am and IMSA, Ribbs was fortunate enough to race for the likes of Jim Trueman, Jack Roush, and Dan Gurney, to name a few — all who respected his talent. But as racial barriers seemed to be crossed – along with numerous podium-paying finish lines – Ribbs still was judged on the color of his skin.

All said, Willy T. Ribbs was an amazing shoe. One wonders what could have been had his immense skill as a wheelman been met by a color-blind sport.

Ribbs with Champion Boxer Muhammed Ali | Chassy Media

The movie itself is really well edited and has so much period footage. It took me back to those days of my youth, leaning on the chain link fences at turns five and three at Road America — and at the Milwaukee Mile when Willy had his IndyCar rides. The commentary was spot-on from many insiders.

The only caveat I personally had with the film was having to sit through the pontifications of journalist Marshall Pruett. Otherwise, the other interviewees including Caitlin Jenner (formerly the race driver and Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner), Doug Boles of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, F1’s Bernie Eccelstone, racer David Hobbs – along with archival footage of Trueman, Paul Newman and Bill Cosby (an investor in Ribbs’ IndyCar foray), made for wonderful storytelling.

No stranger to the podium, Ribbs was known for his “Ali Shuffle” after winning | Chassy Media

This documentary is a fitting tribute to a great racing driver who performed any time he was given a break. It’s a story from which we all can learn. The film is currently running on Netflix and is available on DVD from Chassy Media.

5/5 stars.

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Fast and Furious, movie cars, Movies, Videos

Go behind the scenes of “The Fast and the Furious” with the man who helped build the cars


Craig Lieberman, the chief technical director for the first three “Fast and Furious” films knows a lot about the movies. However, he brought in a very special guest for a new video that perhaps knows even more. 

David Marder, in charge of picture car development for the first two films, showed up for one of Lieberman’s most recent videos on inside knowledge about the first film. Marder was responsible for making the cars look the part. While Lieberman rounded up cars and guided the production crew on what kinds of decisions to make, Marder made the cars on a budget.

Honda S2000 from ‘The Fast and the Furious’

The nearly hour-long video is full of personal video Lieberman shot on his own camera that Marder helps break down. For example, we see just how cheap the crew had to get at certain points.

All of the scenes showing drivers at Race Wars, for example, were shot in a Honda Civic buck. The car was rigged and then the graphics and paint for the particular car were applied to match the character’s car. In fact, in the scene where Jesse races the S2000 at Race Wars, Marder points out the gear used to re-create the hero car.

Toyota Supra from 'The Fast and the Furious'

Toyota Supra from ‘The Fast and the Furious’

For example, the steering wheel cover was from Pep Boys to try and match the actually hero Volkswagen Jetta. The seats only feature covers with the Sparco logo to mimic the real racing seats. If you look out the rear, the wing from the Honda Civic buck is showing and doesn’t match the Jetta at all. Even better, Jesse’s real Jetta is actually lined up in front of the two racers—a small “oops” moment.

Marder goes through basically each of the most memorable scenes involving the cars, and as usual, Lieberman helps give us some really incredible information. Grab all the inside knowledge above.



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Movies

The Ecto-1 Cadillac returns in “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”


Who you gonna call? That familiar question will be asked once again in the summer of 2020 when the next installment in the “Ghostbusters” movie series hits the big screen.

Sony Pictures released a trailer on Monday for “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” staring Paul Rudd, Mckenna Grace, Fin Wolfhard, and Carrie Coon. For car guys, the real star is the 1959 Cadillac-based Ecto-1 ambulance.

Said to be the next chapter in the Ghostbusters universe, the plot is simple: A single, broke, down-on-her-luck mom and her two kids move to a spooky farmhouse she inherited from her late father. Seems her father might have been one of the original Ghostbusters from 1984. A secret lab with his old tools, uniforms, a ghost trap, and, of course, the Ecto-1, all sit waiting for the kids to discover.

The “Ghostbusters” franchise returned in 2016 with an all-female cast featuring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. That movie was a modern take on the original, and a 1989 Cadillac Brougham hearse played the Ecto-1 role.

Ecto-1 returns in

This time around, the story plays off the original, only years later, and the Ecto-1 is once again a 1959 Cadillac hearse. It has all the equipment, including blue roof-mounted lights, roof-mounted sensors, ladder, pipes, and livery. It’s also rusty because it’s been sitting for decades.

The trailer has a dark, gritty feel, an the Ecto-1 now has a gunner seat, which is pretty awesome.

We question the NASCAR-like V-8 sounds the Ecto-1 makes flying across a grain field. Where did these kids learn to drive like that, and wouldn’t those tires be dry rotted? Let’s not get caught up in details.

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” looks like a fun movie, and the Ecto-1 is back. Will Slimer make an appearance as well?



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