"Fast and Furious" is restarting its engines and putting something extra under the hood.
The fourth installment of the street-racing saga will enjoy a rarity among franchises: the return of original stars. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker reprise their roles as outlaw and cop.
The movie is a sign of the strength of "quiet giants," franchises that "might not be James Bond or Indiana Jones but still have a rabid following, especially overseas or on DVD," says Paul Dergarabedian of Media by Numbers.
Even Justin Lin, who directed 2006's Tokyo Drift, has been surprised by the franchise's reach.
"I was in Barcelona, and a kid from Spain comes up and just says 'Fast and Furious,' " Lin says. "It's amazing how many kids know it."
Indeed, the series has made $600 million worldwide and is one of Universal Studios' best-selling DVD titles.
"We were doing a movie about illegal racing before most people even knew how popular it was," Diesel says. "How many franchises are that based on the real world?"
But it's not all current events, Walker says. "Who doesn't like fast cars and hot women?"