The Los Angeles neighborhood that served as the backdrop for the ‘Fast and Furious’ films was the scene of protests Friday against the filming of the next installment of the motoring saga, arguing that its streets are plagued by an epidemic of illegal urban races. .
Residents expressed their anger ahead of this weekend’s planned shooting in Angelino Heights, a historic district near downtown Los Angeles. The location is the fictional residence of Dominic Toretto, a character played by actor Vin Diesel in the saga.
It’s all about illegal races, “street takeovers,” where car enthusiasts gather at night to watch them rev their machines at high speeds on city streets.
For Damian Kevitt, a local resident and founder of SAFE, who has spoken out against the practice, “Fast and Dangerous” has “glorified illegal activity,” turning Angeleno Heights into a “tourist destination for illegal street racing.”
“Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, three, four, five, six cars come here for ‘burnouts’ and ‘doughnuts’, maneuvers that make drivers screech their tyres,” promises Damian Kewitt.
“There were no street races in the neighborhood before ‘Fast and Dangerous’ was filmed,” he adds.
Another resident, Bella, who declined to give her last name, says her children are shocked by the sound of cars outside their home in the middle of the night.
They’re now too scared to go outside to play because “they’ve seen cars go out of control and run over pedestrians around the corner,” she says.
For Bella, Universal Studios has to relocate filming, while SAFE urges the city to install speed bumps and zero tolerance for street racing.
The association asked Universal to add a “fast and dangerous” tag to encourage those who don’t participate in such races.
Universal did not immediately respond to requests from AFP.
The first ‘Fast and Furious’ film was released in 2001 and the franchise became the eighth-highest-grossing film series in box office history, grossing $6.6 billion over the span of 10 films.
The 11th installment of the saga, “Fast and Dangerous 10”, is slated to release next May.
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