The Los Angeles area that served as the backdrop for the “Fast and the Furious” films was the scene of protests on Friday against the filming of the next installment in the motoring saga, claiming its streets have since been hit by an epidemic of illegal city racing. . . .
Residents have expressed their anger ahead of filming scheduled for this weekend in Angelino Heights, a historic neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles. This is the fictional residence of Dominic Toretto, the character played by actor Vin Diesel in the saga.
We are talking about illegal races, “capture the streets”, where crowds usually gather at night to watch how motorists spin their engines at high speed through the streets of the city.
For Damian Kewitt, a local resident and founder of SAFE who opposes the practice, The Fast and the Furious helped “glorify illegal activity” by making Angelino Heights “a tourist destination for illegal street racing.”
“On Fridays, Saturdays, Sunday nights, three, four, five, six cars will come here to do + burnouts + and + donuts +”, maneuvers in which drivers squeal tires, assures Damian Kewitt.
“Before Fast & Furious+ was filmed there, there was no street racing in the area,” he adds.
Another resident, Bella, who declined to give her last name, says her children are traumatized by the noise of cars outside the house, waking them up in the middle of the night.
They are now too scared to go out, she said, because “they’ve seen cars go out of control and barely avoid hitting pedestrians around the corner.”
For Bella, Universal Studios must relocate the filming location while SAFE is calling on the city to install speed bumps and zero tolerance for street racing.
The association also asked Universal to add a reference to “Fast and the Furious” urging people not to take part in such races.
Universal did not immediately respond to AFP inquiries.
The first Fast & Furious movie was released in 2001, and since then the franchise has become the eighth-highest-grossing film series in history, grossing $6.6 billion from 10 films.
Fast & Furious 10, the 11th installment in the saga, is due out next May.