The movie's plot was based on a story by journalist Ken Li. The plot involves an undercover policeman (Walker) who becomes enthralled by the lifestyle of illegal street racers.
The Fast and the Furious is loosely based on an article in a magazine about street clubs that race Japanese cars late at night. The film stars Vin Diesel as Domenic Toretto, the leader of a street gang that is under suspicion of stealing expensive electronic equipment.
Paul Walker plays an undercover police officer that attempts to find out who exactly is stealing the equipment, while falling for Domenic's younger sister played by Jordana Brewster.
It was directed by Rob Cohen.
A sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, was released in 2003. Walker reprised his role but Diesel, who had attained star status since the making of the first The Fast and the Furious, did not return for the second film. This was reportedly due to Diesel's salary demands.