"Let's go for a little ride," said Vin Diesel's character in "The Fast and the Furious."
A "little ride" is a little bit of a downplay. Fourteen years later and fans are still all too excited to live their lives a quarter-mile at a time. (Videos via Universal Pictures / "The Fast and the Furious" and Universal Pictures / "Furious 7")
The concept likely stems from the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where characters get to headline their own movies and appear in other films. (Video via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / "Avengers: Age of Ultron")
In a way, the "Fast and Furious" franchise already tried this with "Tokyo Drift." The third installment had a different cast of characters, which may be why it has faced the worst box office earnings out of the seven films. (Video via Universal Pictures / The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift)
But the supposed flop also gave the series one of its most beloved characters: Han. (Video via Universal Pictures / "Fast Five")
Spoiler alert: He dies in "Tokyo Drift," yet the franchise featured him in the next three films of the series –– making where those movies fit in the overall timeline a bit murky, until Jason Statham's character in "Furious 7" tied up that loose end. (Video via Universal Pictures / "Fast Five," Universal Pictures/ "Fast and Furious 6" and Universal Pictures / "Furious 7")
Besides Han getting his own spinoff, many fans are hoping The Rock's character Agent Hobbs will get the same treatment. (Video via Universal Pictures / "Furious 7")
So is this just the studio milking a franchise for all it's worth?
But if we've learned anything from the Marvel Universe, it's that letting characters take turns at center stage means more chances to reveal their complexities. (Video via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / "The Avengers")
And if the "Fast and Furious" spinoff stories intertwine, Universal Studios will be showing it understands fans don't just want heroes who run and drive and shoot but also the "hows" and "whys" they got to where they are. (Video via Universal Pictures / "The Fast and the Furious")