Vin Diesel is a pretty confident man. He must be to think the next "Fast & Furious" movie will win Best Picture at the 2016 Oscars.
While speaking to Variety earlier this week, Diesel set the bar high for "Furious 7," telling the magazine the latest movie in "Fast & Furious" franchise will "probably" win the most important Academy Award next year.
"Universal is going to have the biggest movie in history with this movie," Diesel said in an interview with Variety for this week's cover story. "It will probably win best picture at the Oscars, unless the Oscars don't want to be relevant ever."
We haven't seen the movie yet, but it's a long shot "Furious 7" even gets an Oscar nomination. The Academy doesn't usually honor action movies to begin with, never mind the seventh film in a franchise that started in 2001.
Still, Diesel thinks nothing "will ever come close to the power of this thing," and it shouldn't matter if a number is attached to the title.
"The world won't anticipate is how emotionally powerful the movie is," Diesel said. "The head of the studio, Ron Meyer, often said when 'Fast 5′ or 'Fast 6′ came out, 'If there was no number attached to these movies, they would be contenders for best picture.' And when people see 'Furious 7,' they are going to agree."
"Furious 7" also opens at a time when the Academy is under scrutiny after its disappointing 2015 telecast. Board members will meet this week to discuss if the number of Best Picture nominees should be dropped back to just five nominees, instead of the current structure which allows for 10 nominees.
"Furious 7" is expected to set box office records once it opens on April 3, as fans are eager to see how Universal handled the death of Paul Walker.
Walker was killed in a car crash that occurred in November 2013 in the middle of production. Diesel confirmed earlier this week that he honored his late co-star by naming his newborn daughter after him.
The film, which was directed by James Wan, currently has an 85-percent "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
"Furious 7" is set to be released on April 3 and also stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Luke Evans. The movie is dedicated to Walker.