History is made as Fast 8 becomes the first "global Hollywood movie" to film in the communist country

The history of U.S. cinema has depicted Cuba in one form or another in the past. Movies like Bad Boys II, A Few Good Men, and Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay have all used Cuba as major points in their respective stories, and yet, none of them actually ever set foot in the communist nation during filming. Then again, none of those franchises can claim to be a big as the Fast & Furious franchise. The status and reputation the franchise has earned has given producers of the F&F movies the green light to film in some of the world’s biggest cities and most exotic locations. That blueprint will once again be in place now that it’s been announced that certain scenes for Fast & Furious 8 will be filmed on location in Cuba.

The announcement of sorts was made by no less than lead actor/producer Vin Diesel. According to Diesel, Fast 8 is the first global Hollywood movie to be allowed to film in Cuba. That distinction may ring hollow to some people, but to those who know the historical animosity between the United States and Cuba, it’s a huge deal that’s bordering on history-making in a number of aspects.

If anything, Fast 8 could open the doors for more Hollywood studios to look at Cuba as a possible location for its future films. Take away the history and focus on the country itself and you’re looking at one of the most picturesque and colorful places in the world. No more is that evident than well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture that remains to this day in Havana, the country’s world famous capital.

No mention was made on how long the cast and crew of Fast 8 filmed in Cuba, but we do know that the scenes in that location will prominently feature Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez. Maybe it’s the long-overdue honeymoon of Dom Toretto and Letty Ortiz. Maybe it’s for something else. Whatever the case may be, it’s nice to see that we can finally get to see the real Cuba and all of its quirks and beauties, including the massive amount of American classic cars that are still prevalent in the country.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

It may not as big of a news for some people, but the fact that Fast & Furious 8 was allowed to film in Cuba points to the ongoing shift in acceptance the previously frosty communist nation had for anything America. The lifting of the decades long embargo on the country is the biggest reason for this and it has opened a lot of doors, not just for Hollywood.

Far more important is the massive influx of tourists flocking to the Caribbean nation to enjoy its tropical weather, rich musical traditions, famous cigars, and of course, those classic cars. The interest in Cuba as a tourist destination is backed up by numbers. In 2015, the country welcomed a record 3.52 million visitors, an increase of 17.4 percent from its numbers in 2014. Driving that impressive increase are the 161,000-plus American visitors, a staggering increase of 77 percent from the previous year.

Having Fast & Furious 8 film in the country can also be seen as an boost in tourism awareness, especially for those who will end up seeing the movie in places like Asia and Europe. It’s one thing for Americans to go to Cuba, but if the world’s population sees it as a premium tourist destination, it’s going to attract a lot of tourists than what it’s been receiving in the past few years.

So consider this as a mutually beneficial relationship between the movie franchise and the communist nation. F&F 8 needed a new and never before used location. Cuba needed to attract itself to people from all over the world. Both sides benefit from this and those are the best kind of deals.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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