It all began with a magazine article that exposed the world of illegal drag racing in cities across America. Creatives at Universal would make a modest action film featuring drag racing, car modification – and of course, family – from its pages. What should have been a one-off popcorn summer flick followed by a straight-to-video sequel became one of the largest film franchises of all time. Worth billions of dollars in ticket sales, it has spawned merchandise, spin-offs, and theme park attractions, and put a series of increasingly amazing stunts on the world’s movie screens. Despite the loss of a beloved lead actor, the franchise is a masterclass in world-building, raising the stakes, and growing a truly dedicated fan base internationally.