‘Fast and Furious 10’ set has neighbors fuming over dangerous car stunts

“Fast and Furious” fans around the world are excited for the return of the franchise with the 10th installment, “Fast X,” this coming April. Residents of Los Angeles’ historic Angelino Heights neighborhood, not so much.

Since it premiered in 2001, “Fast and the Furious” fans have flocked to Angelino Heights to look at Bob’s Market, the store owned by the family of the film’s Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and the character’s quaint Victorian home .

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But unlike the nearby home where the WB series “Charmed” was filmed, Bob’s Market and Dominic’s home have become a destination for more than just taking selfies. Almost every night, car enthusiasts get away with donuts at high speeds in front of the shop, in addition to racing and taking over roads throughout the area just west of Downtown.

Residents dealing with the constant noise and dangerous conditions are fed up and are planning to protest the filming of “Fast X” on Friday. The protest comes as anger over the impact of street racing and takeovers is at an all-time high in the city. Meanwhile, traffic and pedestrian deaths have soared during the pandemic, often caused by reckless driving and speeding. It’s become an epidemic in Los Angeles and across the country — US traffic deaths are up 21% in the first three months of 2022 compared to 2020.

A filming notice from FilmLA received by community members states that “Fast X” will shoot Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. in front of Toretto’s home on Kensington Street, with “simulated service activity emergency, aerial photography, wet road and smoke.” According to a spokeswoman for FilmLA, which is responsible for permits for filming in Los Angeles, the filming permit has not been finalized, but the passes were given to the community by the office .

“If this filming is allowed to go ahead in Angelino Heights, or any part of it by F10 Productions (Universal) … we will stage a huge protest and invite many journalists and news cameras to film us protesting the filming throughout day and night,” an email he received Variety from a resident on the Los Angeles City Council reads. “We will hold this protest to honor the 178 people killed by street racers in Los Angeles and to shame Universal for its callous disregard for this deadly street racing epidemic that its movies started and continue to promote.” No further details about the protest are available.

Universal did not respond to requests for comment.

Talking to you Varietyseveral Angelino Heights residents explained that their issue with “Fast and Furious” has less to do with the one-day filming than the year-round impact the movies have on the neighborhood.

Hellen Kim and Robert Howard, a married couple who live near Bob’s Market, say the open space in front of the store attracts street runners who do donuts and rev up their engines, creating noise and smoke. Although the city erected some bollards in the area, many of the drivers simply moved to a nearby road or continue to drive around the barriers. And when they do, because some of the cars don’t have mufflers, the noise tends to be extremely annoying, with tires screeching all night long.

Workers prepare the

Workers prepare the “Fast and Furious” Toretto family home for filming. – Credit: Variety

Variety

“Our mom lives with us, she’s 90, she gets scared at night with that sound,” Howard says. “There are kids in the neighborhood right around that corner. It should not be allowed.”

Kim says that while driving through the area, several of the runners have hit or crashed into cars. Additionally, he says he has seen several of the drivers speed away after the collision, leaving the owner to deal with the consequences.

“Someone’s going to get killed,” he says. “Sooner or later.”

One resident, who did not want his name used, said Variety that he once had a gun pointed at him by a “Fast and Furious” fan after he asked him to stop running his car in the middle of the day.

“In the middle of the day I’m trying to work in my office, someone whips by making all kinds of noise with their car, and I go out and yell, ‘Would you do that in front of your grandma’s house?’ And some kid says “What did you tell me?” And he pulls out a gun and he pointed at me,” the resident says. “I’m standing on my porch and he’s across the street. So I didn’t fear for my life. But any time someone pulls a gun, it’s a serious thing.”

Another time, the resident and his brother-in-law got into a fight with other drivers in the neighborhood. A few days later, they woke up in the middle of the night to find that someone had set the trash cans on their street on fire, nearly burning down their house in the process.

“The fact that these people can find the real spot and then just torture the people who live there is irresponsible,” says the resident. “Of course they (Universal) didn’t know when they made the movie that it would be such a cultural phenomenon.”

Not all residents necessarily want “Fast X” to stop filming. Longtime homeowner Planaria Price, who was instrumental in convincing the city to install the barriers in front of Bob’s Market, explains that Universal provided her and other residents with allowances and nuisance fees, which helped her restore much of the owns houses in the area.

According to Price, community residents who have complained about the “Fast X” filming have already been offered compensation. While he agrees that the street racing encouraged by the movies is dangerous, he believes the issue lies more with the LA government and the need to crack down on street racing in the city in general.

LA City Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents the area, did not respond to a request for comment.

“I don’t want filming to stop, I mean, it’s one of the most important things financially that we have in Los Angeles,” says Price. “It’s just that the site owner needs to be sure that the people on the site are really responsible for the neighborhood.”

The protest, which is being organized by an Angelino Heights resident who declined to be interviewed Variety, is supported by Street Racing Kills and Streets Are for Everyone, two advocacy organizations focused on road safety education. Their founders, Lili Trujillo Puckett and Damian Kevitt, have been personally affected by dangerous driving: Puckett’s 16-year-old daughter died in a road racing accident, while Kevitt lost his leg after being hit by a speeding car through by Griffith. Park.

During the pandemic, street racing has become an issue in the city as a whole, with street racing and takeovers increasing 27 percent last year, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Although Pucket explains that Universal has made some outreach to promote driving safety in the years since the “Fast and the Furious” franchise began — including a PSA it participated in a few years ago with franchise star Sung Kang — says it wasn’t far-reaching enough to combat the effects the films had, and that Universal needs to do a bigger campaign to get the message across more forcefully.

He cites several recent road racing incidents this year, including a freeway crash that killed two people in May, as a reason why the “Fast” production should not return to the streets of Los Angeles for filming.

“I feel like they should wait maybe another year, especially with the problem being as big as it is now,” says Puckett.

Kevitt doesn’t necessarily have a problem with car enthusiasts racing in a safe, confined environment, but it’s a different story on public roads with real-life consequences. Although the “Fast” movies have strayed from their street racing origins, the next installment is said to be “going back to its roots.”

What’s happening in Angelino Heights is the result of an industry that doesn’t care about its potential consequences, Kevitt says. “This needs to change and Universal needs to step up and take responsibility for the consequences and the billions of money they’ve made from this.”

Pat Saperstein contributed to this article.

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