Fast And Furious 6
Credit: Giles Keyte

The Fast and the Furious franchise is still picking up speed: Vin Diesel says the Universal Pictures series will return July 11, 2014, with a seventh film.

The gravel-voiced action star made the announcement on stage at CinemaCon — a Las Vegas convention of movie exhibitors — while flanked by costars, among them Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker, and Tyrese Gibson, who took turns expressing their gratitude to be part of a film series that has defied even their own expectations with its box office horsepower.

The sixth film arrives May 24 and, according to Universal Pictures, the the fan interest being tracked by social media and marketing research shows the brand is getting bigger as racks up more mileage. Insidious director James Wan is slated to direct, taking over from Justin Lin.

The car theft motif of the films takes a backseat perhaps to the franchise’s real allure — high-adrenaline action in international settings with a multicultural cast and urban stylings.

The brand represents “event” programming for its fans, Diesel said. In the U.S., Latino moviegoers represented one-third of the moviegoers who attended the fifth film’s opening weekend.

“I do believe a lot of it has to do with fighting for integrity,” Rodriguez said. “Because the vast majority of the time in these massive movies you’re in an ensemble cast and you kind of lose track of every character. Some times you’ve got choose your battles and you don’t exactly know what to fight for.”

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