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'Fast X' really rolled a 1-ton metal ball covered in flaming gasoline down the streets of Rome

Kirsten Acuna   

'Fast X' really rolled a 1-ton metal ball covered in flaming gasoline down the streets of Rome
  • A scene early in "Fast X" shows Dom racing to stop a bomb from annihilating the Vatican.
  • Director Louis Leterrier told Insider they really rolled a massive flaming ball through Rome.

Early in "Fast X," Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew race after a massive ticking time bomb before it can blow up the Vatican.

Not all of that's CGI.

"We really rolled a one-ton metal ball covered in just gasoline, flaming gasoline down the streets of Rome," director Louis Leterrier told Insider via Zoom earlier this month.

The latest movie in "The Fast and the Furious" franchise follows Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa) as he exacts revenge on Dom's crew for the death of his father in 2011's "Fast Five."

Part of that vengeance includes setting Dom's family up as terrorists who target the sacred site and tourist destination.

The large action sequence involves the bomb relentlessly barreling through everything in its path. Crushed cars, smashed statues, and a destroyed water fountain are all at the bomb's mercy as Dom desperately chases it down.

Stunt footage, made available to press, shows the enflamed ball being tugged along on wires, taking out a police car.

It also really decimated the bus in its path.

"We had Dom's car trying to stop it and that was done for real. The cars exploding were also done for real," Leterrier said.

The scene culminates in Vin dramatically crashing his car into a crane to knock the bomb into the Tiber River to explode.

There may not have been a crane, but they really sent the ball over a bridge into the water.

"Pulling the cameras in and out of the cars while they're moving, chasing them, seeing the actors behind the wheel, and then connecting them," Leterrier said, "Having Vin do a 180 in front of an exploding bomb and then finishing on a close-up with him, that's all done for real."

The director, who joined the franchise mid-production in May 2022, has spoken openly of his preference for practical stunts if possible, telling Esquire Middle East he wanted to ground the franchise in reality more when he came aboard.

Of keeping the scene as realistic as possible, Leterrier told Insider: "It's a bunch of real elements put together. There's no CG there. I mean, obviously, we didn't blow up a giant bomb in Rome. That's CG. But just the cars flipping and Dom, all of that was done for real and it shows. If you can keep 75% of your image real, the audience knows it. We do it for real."

Leterrier said viewers can expect "even more practicality in the next one" when he returns to direct "Fast X: Part II" due out in 2025.

"Fast X," also starring Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Sung Kang, Nathalie Emmanuel, Tyrese, and Charlize Theron is in theaters Friday.

You can watch Leterrier discuss making the scene below.

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