Out of nowhere, Furious 7 had its worldwide premiere at SXSW in Austin, Texas. And the reaction has been just a little bit good.
There was no early warning that this event was going to take place, and producer Neal Moritz basically admitted that he thought of the idea just a day or so before it happened. Massive franchises don't move very quickly, so it's pretty amazing that the film managed to get out to an audience, especially as its still a couple of weeks away from its actual release date. A midnight slot at SXSW is probably a great first test for the sixth sequel, with a certain kind of audience compounded by the late night slot. And it seems people weren't disappointed.
The film fairly rocked the socks off audience, with mentions of the insane action and a top moment for Dwayne Johnson's character. And of course there were tributes paid to Paul Walker who tragically died during production. His role was originally going to be written out when the filmmakers took the decision to instead uniquely honour his memory and got his brothers involved to create advanced digital doubles and make a film which would do the long-time franchise member proud. And it seems they've done just that, with some of the crowd admitting the film made them cry.
Here's director James Wan.
It's all sounding like exactly the film it should be - big and loud and over the top, but in this case with an emotional element which should ensure its also the best of the franchise to date. It's a terrible shame that Walker didn't live to see this latest entry but that doesn't mean the series is going anywhere - reports suggest that number 7 is just the beginning of a new trilogy and we can't wait to see where else they go with it.
Star Vin Diesel was talking to Vibe recently where he mentions the relationship between himself and Walker and just how important it was to get the film right. It's pretty emotional stuff.
Furious 7 is in cinemas on the 3rd of April 2015.