Furious 7 star and producer Vin Diesel has set the bar high for the franchise’s latest installment. Really high.
In an interview with Variety, he told the magazine he expects the movie, out April 3, to take home the Oscars’ highest honor.
“It will probably win Best Picture at the Oscars,” Diesel says in Variety‘s cover story this week, “unless the Oscars don’t want to be relevant ever.”
Furious 7 is slated to open at $115 million, which would be the highest opening ever for an April movie. The film already earned much praise following its debut at South by Southwest last week.
In addition to potentially record-breaking numbers, the movie also pays tribute to franchise star, the late Paul Walker, who died in a car accident in November 2013 during Furious 7‘s production.
“What the world won’t anticipate is how emotionally powerful the movie is,” Diesel said in the magazine. “We were successful in one-upping the action sequences, and adding an interesting dynamic to the world.”
The Academy has never bestowed its ultimate prize on a franchise film like Furious 7, but the most successful franchise in Universal’s history may have a shot, especially after this year’s Oscars broadcast saw a 16 percent decline in viewership.
“If there was no number attached to these movies, they would be contenders for Best Picture,'” Diesel adds. “And when people see Furious 7, they are going to agree.”