He might be "Death Proof," but is he "Fast and Furious"?
Wan confirmed Russell's involvement with the fast-tracked film via Twitter today, referring to the 62-year-old "Escape From New York" star in an appropriate fashion:
Fans immediately got revved up for "Fast & Furious 7" (or "Fast 7" or "Furious 7" or "And the 7" or whatever they end up calling it) as the sequel's premise was teased in the last scene of this summer's "Furious 6." In the scene, poor Han (Sung Kang) is seemingly blown sky high in his own car, courtesy of a British-accented villain who reveals himself to be Ian Shaw, the vengeance-seeking brother of the late "Furious 6" villain, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). The fact that Owen's brother was commencing with a roaring rampage of revenge wasn't what inspired cheers from the audience, though ... it's that Owen's brother was being played by "The Transporter" and "Crank" star Jason Statham.
Furious fans should now be even more pumped up with the addition of Kurt Russell. Really, Snake Plissken in a "Fast & Furious" movie ... it took someone at Universal this long to think of that? Russell's perfect for this world, and not just for his iconic performance as the eye patch-wearing anti-hero of John Carpenter's "Escape From New York" (1981) and "Escape From L.A." — Russell's got some experience behind the wheel of a muscle car, too, after his villainous turn as Stuntman Mike in Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof" (2007), the back end of the "Grindhouse" double-feature.
And let's not forget that Kurt Russell also took on FIRE ITSELF in "Backdraft" (1991), broke out of prison with Sylvester Stallone in "Tango & Cash" (1989), (possibly) survived an alien attack in "The Thing" (1982), traversed his way through a capsized ocean liner in "Poseidon" (2006), journeyed through time and space via the "Stargate" (1994), played legendary lawman/gunslinger Wyatt Earp in "Tombstone" (1993) and, uh, punched a lot of guys in "Soldier" (1998).
Oh yeah — he also does his own stunts.
Details on Russell's character are being kept under wraps, but if he were actually reprising his role as truck driver/pop philosopher Jack Burton from Carpenter's "Big Trouble in Little China" (1986) in "Fast 7" ... that would be truly something. And perhaps more than anyone could ever handle.
As much as the "Fast & Furious" franchise could benefit from having Kurt Russell as part of its convoy, Russell could certainly benefit from having the franchise on his resume, as it's been a while since he had a really big hit. The series has proved itself to be a worldwide box office powerhouse, with this past summer's installment, "Furious 6," earning over $787 million. That's a series best, though the $626 million earned by its predecessor, "Fast Five" (2011), is mighty impressive in its own right.
Two-time Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou ("In America," "Blood Diamond") will also be joining Russell — as well as regulars Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Paul Walker —when "Furious 7" goes for a summer drive July 11, 2014.
See Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike in the "Grindhouse" trailer: