Paul Walker's legacy is still alive in F9: The Fast Saga, even after the actor's tragic death in a 2013 car crash. The late star's character Brian O’Connor can be seen briefly in the new trailer for the film released Wednesday, playing with one of the kids he shares with Jordana Brewster’s character Mia in a clip at the 13-second mark that is watched Vin Diesel’s Dom.
The rest of the trailer features an extended sequence signature to the franchise featuring a powerful magnet that can lift a moving car right off the road. There's also more to come about Dom's dangerous relationship with brother Jakob (John Cena), who may be teaming up with Charlize Theron’s Cipher, who was first introduced as the villain in The Fate of the Furious. Tyrese Gibson's Roman and Ludacris' Tej appear to be taking an adventure into space, and there's a few quick shots of Sung Kang’s Han without context as to how he may have returned from the dead.
Including Walker's character in the Fast & Furious universe was important to director Justin Lin, he told Variety upon the trailer's release. "The idea of Brian O’Connor still alive in this universe, it’s very impactful and it’s very important," he told the outlet, explaining that F9 is the first time he's creatively approaching the film as more than just a one-shot after initially leaving the franchise in 2013 with Fast & Furious 6. Agreeing to return for a final send-off with the ninth through 11th films, Lin said he is thinking about Fast 9 as "the beginning of the final chapter of the saga," which is why he felt he had room to place O'Connor in the universe he's building.
Showing O'Connor off living life with his children was a conscious choice to honor Walker and his family. "I think that’s always an issue," Lin said when asked about how he wanted to include the late star in the film. "I want to always be very respectful and how we present that. I think that [in] Nine, you will feel the presence of Brian, for sure."
Developing the two-part franchise finale is very "gratifying" as it starts to come together, the director shared. "We’ve been talking about for so long. So far, so good," he told Variety. "It’s feeling like it’s the right feel, it’s the right move, it’s the right track."