Few movies outside of the superhero sphere involve ensemble casts as big as the Fast and Furious movies, and Fast X is the biggest of all of them. With tons of characters, several storylines, and practically every sequence happening in a different place around the world, the 10th Fast and Furious movie was a mess to coordinate. Breaking things down required an unusual approach from director Louis Leterrier.
In an interview with Polygon, Leterrier, who directed every episode of Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series, explained that he actually approached Fast X (both Part One and Part Two) more like the way he would run a TV show than the way he would direct a normal movie.
“I took the script I had and broke it like I would break a season of TV,” Leterrier said. “And then [built a storyboard with] Post-its — yellow was Vin, blue was Michelle. Then I saw the balance [between characters], and I was moving Post-its around — Oh, not enough Cipher. Seems like too many blah-blah scenes. And I balanced it.”
For Leterrier, the key to the whole process was really about working toward the movie series’ ending, and making sure everything in Fast X helped push the overall franchise story closer to that moment.
“This one, I was like, We need to know where the franchise ends, because we’re so close to the end,” Leterrier said. “When we know where we’re ending, let’s seed those elements that will bloom into it. If and when you watch this movie again, you’ll see a lot of sentences and lines and cutaways to photos and props and actions, and they’ll look simple, but they mean a lot now, and will mean even more later.”
For Leterrier, treating Fast X like a TV show meant focusing on how the storyline builds over time, especially with at least two, maybe three movies’ worth of action left to go. “That’s what TV is, you know,” he says. “You look at story.”
Fast X is in theaters now.