Jason Statham is in early talks to join back-to-back sequels to a Europe set sixth and seventh Fast and Furious film. Twitchfilm.com are reporting that The Expendables star is being sought to join the Universal Pictures production to give the sequels the kind of kick that the surprise inclusion of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson did with the last one. No one expected Fast 5 to go down as well as it did - both critically and commercially - even after the similarly unexpected financial success of the fourth film.

Director Justin Lin told the site about the next instalment: “My whole thing is about respecting the audience and respecting the evolution of these characters - and they’ve grown and now the family is back together. And in many ways, some of the big pieces of Fast Six have already been discussed: I already have a 12-minute sequence done. I did it just as an exercise. I had it done before we were finished with Fast Five, actually. So I wanted to do that just to have it there and to be honest with you, I didn’t know if I was going to do a Fast Six. I didn’t know if people were going to embrace Fast Five and we were going to have an opportunity. But I felt like I really wanted to make sure that the last scene, which I had talked to Vin about countless times - I wanted to make sure that was done. So actually I boarded it, I pre-vised it, and I cut it. So it’s funny, when we were in Atlanta shooting it, I already had the end sequence to Fast Six done. And that was what I wanted to work towards.”

I really liked Lin when I interviewed him in Rio. He's a very nice, humble guy and embraced the larger budget of Fast 5 to sterling effect. Shooting on the two sequels is expected to happen simultaneously early next year.