The villain of Fast & Furious 7 will be played by…

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Movie muffins and grease monkeys would be aware that the next “Fast & Furious” movie is intended to be a two-parter, with “Fast & Furious 7″ to closely follow “Fast & Furious 6″, which is out in May. Those familiar with the axel-grinding franchise will also remember the rumour that Jason Statham – who, you gotta admit, would look right at home amongst the film’s revheads – was up for the role of the villain in “Fast & Furious 6″ at one stage. The rumour was quickly debunked – but not because there wasn’t purportedly some ounce of truth to it.

SPOILER WARNING #1

Look Away Now if You Don’t Want to Spoil a plot element of “Fast & Furious 6″ for yourself.

SPOILER WARNING #2 (for those slow on the uptake)

OK, so apparently Jason Statham is in the film – but he’s not the main villain, he’s not even a central character. Statham is making a cameo appearance at the tail end of the movie.
Why would he do that? Need a new yacht? Fancy some Michelle Rodriguez?
Well, the answer is probably ‘yes’ to both of those, but according to Aint it Cool News, who have the scoop, Statham’s set to be the king baddie of “Fast & Furious 7″ so they’ve decided to tease his upcoming key villain role with an appearance post-credits in “Fast & Furious 6″ – that, after all, will work fans into a lather, and have them hankering for the next instalment.

Here’s what AICN has :
Okay… commence spoilers…

SPOILER WARNING 3 (for those skipping paragraphs)

At the end of FAST & FURIOUS 6, the crew has helped Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) in dispatching of Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw, earning their full pardons, enabling them to return back home, with Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) all seemingly ready to live the rest of their lives free and happily ever after.

Now this is where the big reveal comes in. As it was structured when I cemented this information, the following sequence was placed immediately after that peaceful ending, but it’s entirely possible that it may be shifted to occur sometime during the end credits, much like the reveal of Letty still being alive was during FAST FIVE.

We then see a pair of hands on a steering wheel, with Japanese suddenly coming across a police scanner in the car. In addition, looking around the car, we see that the inside of this particular S-Class has been reinforced for some reason. The scanner puts out the call for all units to respond to a high-speed chase taking place between an orange and black Mazda RX-7 and a grey Nissan 350Z, and this suped-up Mercedes floors it, taking off from its parked position.

This mysterious driver monitors the chase from a parallel road before geting ahead of the pursuit. At this point, he heads down a street on his left at an incredibly high rate of speed. Upon seeing the RX-7 approaching the coming intersection, the driver floors it, timing his entry into the intersection to slam right into the side of the Mazda, sending it rolling over upside-down, as the S-Class appears only minimally damaged.

This mystery driver then steps out of the vehicle, and it is now that we finally learn who is behind the wheel…

Are you ready for it…?

JASON STATHAM!!

Statham, playing Owen Shaw’s older brother Ian, walks up to the RX-7 and over towards the driver of the vehicle, which we now see is Han (Sung Kang).

BAM!! DOUBLE WHAMMY!!

We now see that we are right smack in the middle of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT.

Statham tosses his brother’s SAS dog tags into the car, next to the trapped and helpless Han, and, as he walks away, he pulls out his cell and makes a call, calling Dom. Very briefly, as Han’s car explodes in the background, much as it did in TOKYO DRIFT, Statham’s Shaw warns Dom that he doesn’t know him, but he’s about to… and, as he walks into the gathering crowd unnoticed, FAST & FURIOUS 6 ends, and we’re right on the doorstep to where FAST & FURIOUS 7 will take off.

Now, if you’ll remember… Statham was reportedly up for the villainous role of Owen Shaw for this summer’s film before he turned down the offer. Well, that wasn’t entirely true, now was it? Statham simply accepted a smaller part this time around to build to his much bigger and more established inclusion for the seventh film in the series, which now looks to put the FAST & FURIOUS crew back on the run in some respects, as Statham gives chase, seeking revenge for what happens to his younger brother in #6.

And, as a bonus, TOKYO DRIFT has finally been connected to the rest of the series, answering the question of just how far into the future it took place in relation to the other films. We now know it is between 6 and 7.

There you have it. Statham in the FAST & FURIOUS franchise… that’s some pretty exciting stuff.

Excited!? Okay, if you’re not, your Mrs is, believe me, the chicks seem to really dig Statham.

Oh, and here’s a new “Fast & Furious 6″ poster that hit today, featuring Paul Walker.