Reece Ristau | Variety
Souped-up sports cars sped into the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot Tuesday to rev up excitement for the “Fast & Furious: Supercharged” ride.
Along with the flashy cars, “Fast & Furious” cast members Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Jason Statham attended the premiere of the attraction, which opens its doors to the public June 25. The ride uses new technology, which looks similar to a hologram, to take tram riders on a 3D adventure with Diesel and the crew of his “Fast” movies, including Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s Agent Hobbs.
“We were looking to have a grand finale to the studio tour, and we thought, ‘What better film series than ‘Fast & Furious?’” said Chick Russell, executive producer of the ride. “It almost feels like a thrill ride in the theater.”
During the last leg of Universal’s Studio Tour, tram-riding fans view a 360-degree, 400-foot screen. Riders, wearing 3D glasses, watch drone strikes and refineries exploding while water, smoke and heat blow around. Although the ride is stationary, riders feel perceived speeds of 120 mph, with the tram at one point going up a bridge and jumping a river.
“I know when we were making it it felt like we were creating something that I have never experienced,” Diesel said. “We employed all kinds of incredible technology. It’s going to be a real unique experience.”
For the ceremonial ribbon-cutting, Diesel and crew got bolt cutters and a chain, and were joined by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Before the cutting was complete, faux FBI agents swarmed the stage looking for stolen cars. After a car drove off a ramp and tore through a “Fast” screen, red and white confetti commenced the ride’s official opening.
Gibson discussed the franchise’s success and those who look down on the movies.
“We could easily equate success to box office receipts only,” said Gibson. “We could also equate it to the fact that the franchise keeps going, but I think at the end of the day the fans love the experience of ‘The Fast and the Furious,’ and that’s the biggest compliment.”
Also in attendance were Universal’s Ron Meyer, Steve Burke, Larry Kurzweil, Donna Langley, Mark Woodbury and Tom Williams.