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Summary

  • Vin Diesel’s dominance in
    Fast & Furious
    is ending, but
    Kojak
    could begin his next action franchise.
  • Kojak
    ‘s reboot faces an uncertain future, but its similarity to
    Fast & Furious
    makes it a worthy project for Diesel.
  • Diesel’s potential shift from criminal racer to cop signifies a fresh start in a possible
    Fast & Furious
    -like series.

Vin Diesel‘s days of playing Dominic Toretto are numbered, but the actor has already found his perfect Fast & Furious replacement. Diesel landed a major breakout role in the early 2000s thanks to The Fast and the Furious. The original 2001 street racing crime movie became the springboard for a sprawling franchise that has lasted over two decades. The success of the Fast & Furious movies transformed Vin Diesel’s career, turning him into an even bigger star – especially in the action genre. Nevertheless, Fast & Furious 11 is planned as the final chapter for Dominic Toretto and the franchise overall.

The Fast & Furious franchise ending will put Vin Diesel in an unfamiliar position of not having a major franchise to rely on. This presents the actor with various options, such as changing the course of his career to pursue non-franchise roles. The more likely outcome, however, is that Diesel will attempt to find a new IP that can replace Fast & Furious. He has had trouble in that regard recently, with franchises like xXx and Riddick running cold, while Bloodshot and The Last Witch Hunter failed to launch franchises. There is another option for Diesel, though.

Related

Fast And Furious: Every Major Character Death (& Which Movie They Died In)

As Dom and his crew will tell you, a Fast and Furious life is dangerous. Good and bad guys alike have met their end in the car-racing franchise.

Kojak Can Be Vin Diesel’s New Action Crime Franchise After Fast & Furious

Diesel Has Been Developing The Kojak Reboot Since 2015

The imminent end of the Fast & Furious franchise means it is finally time for Vin Diesel’s Kojak reboot to get off the ground. The project was announced back in 2015 with Diesel re-teaming with Universal Pictures, the studio behind Fast & Furious, to develop a movie based on Kojak. The original TV series starred Telly Savalas as Theo Kojak and ran for three seasons after debuting in 1973. The series revolves around Kojak, a New York detective known for his willingness to go beyond the law and his love for both cars and lollipops, as he investigates different cases.

Kojak was rebooted in 2005 as a TV show starring Ving Rhames, but it only ran for six episodes.

Development on Vin Diesel’s Kojak movie has not been very active in the nine years since it was announced. However, it still maintains fundamental similarities to Fast & Furious, which makes the project a worthwhile endeavor for Diesel in terms of finding a new action franchise. Diesel would have another big action series about cars and crime, essentially making Kojak into a newer version of Fast & Furious. The irony here is that Diesel would be taking on the role of a cop after playing criminal racer Dominic Toretto.

Vin Diesel’s Involvement Can Morph Kojak Into A Major Action Franchise

Kojak Could Be A Fast & Furious Clone

Telly Savalas talking on the phone in Kojak.

Looking at the original TV show, Kojak might not necessarily bear the immediate hallmarks of a major blockbuster action franchise akin to Fast & Furious. The TV series was relatively grounded and small due to the nature of its production. On the other hand, the fact that Diesel and Universal pinpointed this property as something they wanted to revive together is telling. The announcement of Kojak‘s reboot came months after Furious 7 debuted in theaters and took the franchise to new heights in terms of both box office and how ridiculously big the action could get.

It’s sometimes difficult to remember that Fast & Furious started off with a story about DVD thieves who were also street racers before Diesel helped turn it into something much bigger. With that experience and success already behind him, it would be understandable if a similar path was envisioned for Kojak. The series could then morph into a Fast & Furious clone that gives Vin Diesel a new franchise to headline and Universal a “fresh” action franchise to grow.

Why Vin Diesel Is Ending Fast & Furious

Will Fast & Furious REALLY End?

Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto standing in front of multiple cars on fire in Fast X.

Given the immense success and ever-expanding premise of the Fast & Furious movies, there appears to be no obvious reason Vin Diesel would end his run as Dominic Toretto. It perhaps isn’t surprising, therefore, that no official reason has been given for parking the franchise. With that said, the most important factor seems to be creative direction. In 2017, producer Neal Moritz described Fast & Furious 10 as the ending point for the overarching story. The final chapter was subsequently split into two parts – Fast X and Fast & Furious 11 – but the plan to conclude Dom’s arc at this point appears to have been mapped out for years.

One must also question whether the Fast & Furious story really is winding down. Shortly prior to the release of Fast X, Vin Diesel claimed Fast & Furious 12 was “probably” happening – a statement later debunked by Fast X‘s own director, Louis Leterrier. As confusion reigns, it becomes difficult to argue with any conviction that the conclusion of the Fast & Furious franchise is set in stone. Even so, the finite nature of Vin Diesel’s time playing Dominic Toretto is increasingly clear, and any lingering hopes for future Fast & Furious movies do not quash the actor’s need for a replacement franchise.

Even with Vin Diesel making several pit-stops as he cruises toward the exit door, Fast & Furious is unlikely to break down completely. 2019’s Hobbs & Shaw wholeheartedly proved that the franchise can thrive without Vin Diesel, making over $760 million at the box office (via The Numbers). The prospect of Hobbs & Shaw 2 happening with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson once again teaming up with Jason Statham is very much alive, and plenty of other characters within the Fast & Furious universe could lead their own spinoff ventures too.

What’s Happening With Vin Diesel’s Other Franchises?

Kojak Isn’t Vin Diesel’s Only Shot At A New Action Franchise

In addition to Fast & Furious, Vin Diesel has three other movie franchises to his name: The Chronicles of Riddick, the Xander Cage movies, and Guardians of the Galaxy. As a voice role within a star-studded ensemble, the MCU is not a feasible Fast & Furious replacement for Vin Diesel, even though Groot is highly likely to return in either a potential Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4 or another MCU installment. The notion of a fourth Xander Cage movie with Diesel has been mooted over the years, but was held up by legal drama as of 2021.

Franchise

Vin Diesel Character

# Of Movies (With Diesel)

Total Box Office (via The Numbers)

Fast & Furious

Dominic Toretto

9 of 11

$6.4 billion approx. (movies with Vin Diesel)

Guardians of the Galaxy

Groot

3 of 3

$2.5 billion approx.

xXx

Xander Cage

2 of 3

$623 million approx. (movies with Vin Diesel

Chronicles of Riddick

Riddick

3 of 3

$255 million approx.

Far more likely to transpire is the confirmed Riddick 4: Furya, which entered early stages of production in February 2023. Unfortunately, updates have been scarce ever since, casting doubt on whether another Riddick movie will ever actually see the light of day. All of this makes Kojak even more important for Vin Diesel as his time as Dominic Toretto comes to an end. If neither Groot, Xander Cage, nor Riddick can fill the not-inconsiderable shoes of Dominic Toretto, perhaps Theo Kojak can.

Sources: The Numbers



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