David Ayer would, of course, go on to direct a series of steely crime flicks like “Harsh Times” and “Street Kings” as well as the excellent cop drama “End of Watch.” Ayer would also be tapped to helm several notable high-profile studio films including the Netflix fantasy “Bright” and the supervillain film “Suicide Squad.” Infamously, the latter was completely retooled and re-edited by various teams along the way, making Ayer’s intended film into a mushy mess of a movie. Ayer is on record with how disappointed he was with the finished film, and the director’s fans have petitioned unsuccessfully to have his cut of the movie restored. It’s unlikely that will ever happen.
But Ayer did get his way once with his alterations to “The Fast and the Furious.” As with all studio films, the script underwent many notable changes during its production, with various screenwriters being brought in to deliver massively altered drafts. When chatting with a fan on Twitter, Ayer posted:
“Yeah it was set in Brooklyn and all white cast. My condition on taking the writing job was to set it in LA and have it reflect the LA street racing scenes diversity. It was a TINY subculture then. I made it night and day from the script I rewrote.”
One of the more notable things about the “Fast & Furious” movies is their diversity in a not-very-diverse blockbuster marketplace. We have Ayer, who moved to South Central Los Angeles as a teen, to thank for that. According to other sources, the film’s title had to be licensed from a 1954 Roger Corman film, as it was originally going to be called “Racer X,” “Street Wars,” or “Redline.”
Incidentally, “Redline” is the title of a perfectly cromulent car-based B-movie from 2007.