David Ayer Reflects on 'Fast & Furious' Franchise Origins and Hollywood Struggles

Shedding light on the film's genesis, Ayer speaks out.

by Nouman Rasool
David Ayer Reflects on 'Fast & Furious' Franchise Origins and Hollywood Struggles
© David Ayer/gettyimages

As the dust settles on the monumental success of the Fast & Furious series, director David Ayer, known for his work on "Suicide Squad" and "End of Watch," has shared his grievances regarding his involvement, or lack thereof, in shaping the blockbuster's foundation.

In an eye-opening conversation on Jon Bernthal's Real Ones podcast, Ayer passionately claimed that despite having penned "The Fast and the Furious" – the genesis of Hollywood's iconic franchise – he has "nothing to show" for it.

"The biggest franchise in Hollywood, and I don't have any part of it. It's a testament to how the industry functions," he remarked.

Ayer's L.A. Vision Transformation

While the 2001 film took inspiration from the Vibe magazine article, "Racer X", Ayer asserts that he was the one who transformed the narrative into an authentic representation of street racing culture in Los Angeles.

Recounting his initial interaction with the script, he mentioned, "When I got it, the story was rooted in New York with an all-Italian cast. I insisted on reimagining it, reflecting the diverse community I knew from L.A." Ayer shed light on his hands-on research.

"I went down to a shop in the Valley and met with the pioneers of fuel curve hacking for injectors. Their innovations fascinated me, and I knew instantly that it was a must-have element for the film." On the film's 20th anniversary in 2021, producer Neal H.

Moritz gave Ayer his dues, stating that he "gave a credible voice to the youth in that world." But as the Fast & Furious franchise's revenue surpassed $7 billion globally, Ayer felt overshadowed. He lamented, "People believe I contributed nothing, which couldn't be further from the truth." Ayer expanded on this, discussing how industry insiders can control narratives to their benefit: "Being an outsider, not indulging in Hollywood's social circle, meant that my story, my contributions were often eclipsed by those who did." Universal Pictures, responsible for the Fast & Furious series, remained silent on Ayer's comments.

Ayer's challenges weren't limited to the Fast & Furious narrative; he faced similar battles during 2016's "Suicide Squad." But these experiences seemed to have refocused his perspective, emphasizing the importance of artistic autonomy.

He concluded his segment on Real Ones by asserting, "It's on me to create a safe space for my creativity. And that's my mission now."