Paul Walker's Part in 'Fast X': What We Know
Nearly a decade after Paul Walker's death he will have a part in Fast X, but it's not exactly clear how. Walker played Brian O'Connor in the action franchise from the time it started until his death in 2013, but in the movies' continuity, O'Connor never died. Fast X director Louis Leterrier has confirmed that Brian will make a comeback in the upcoming installment, and he believes it has been done tastefully.
Walker appeared briefly in the trailer for Fast X - albeit in reused footage from Fast 5. Last month, Leterrier was asked about that cameo in an interview with Total Film where he confirmed that Brian will also show up in some fresh scenes as well. He said: "Well, Brian is very much alive in the world of Fast and Furious, and they've teased him a lot in the previous movies. In 9, we see the car coming. It's something that is planned. This movie jumps back and forth between the past and the present. You will see Brian in the past, you won't see Brian in the present."
Actor Paul Walker passed away in 2013, but the Fast & Furious franchise is still grappling with his death. As die-hard fans know, Walker's character Brian O'Connor never actually died in the movies' continuity, though he has not been shown on screen since Walker's death. Now, Fast X director Louis Leterrier has confirmed that Brian will have a major role in this movie, but he believes Walker's likeness has been incorporated into the film respectfully.
Leterrier is new to the Fast & Furious franchise, taking over this film after previous director Justin Lin stepped away. In a new interview with Total Film, he was asked about Walker's appearance in the trailer for Fast X. Walker appears in an old shot from Fast 5 shown briefly in the trailer, and Leterrier acknowledged: "Well, Brian is very much alive in the world of Fast and Furious, and they've teased him a lot in the previous movies. In 9, we see the car coming. It's something that is planned. This movie jumps back and forth between the past and the present. You will see Brian in the past, you won't see Brian in the present."
"It's something that everybody has to be on board with," Leterrier went on. "The Walker family is still very much a part of this franchise, you'll see how in this movie. It just has to be the right moment, the right tone. I think what James Wan did at the end of 7 was perfect. The tone was perfect. Brian has to re-enter the franchise as perfectly as he left it."
The involvement of Walker's family in the movie is an interesting teaser, as Walker's daughter Meadow remains very close to Vin Diesel and his real-life family. Now in her early 20s, this could be a hint that Meadow will take a role or at least make a cameo in Fast X. Still, it sounds like Leterrier has no plans to recreate Walker's image with CGI and incorporate him in the movie as studios have done recently with other actors.
Walker was in the middle of filming Furious 7 when he passed away in 2013 in a car crash where he was in the passenger seat. The movie was then rearranged to work around the existing footage of Walker and explain his departure at the end. At the time, digital artists explained to Variety how the bittersweet ending was constructed – old footage and outtakes featuring Walker from throughout the movies was compiled with new footage filmed with his brothers, all manipulated with CGI to reproduce Walker's likeness. This way, they created the ending scene where Brian simply "retires" from street racing and international heists, driving off into the sunset to be with his wife and children instead.
Brian is often referenced in the movies since then, and his wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) continues to make appearances in the films. In general, the more recent movies just reiterate Brian's retirement and explain that he is safely away from danger, living a peaceful life. It's unclear if Fast X will change that for his character, but it's worth noting that this is supposed to be the second-to-last movie in the mainline "Fast & Furious Saga." Anything is possible. Fast X premieres on May 19, 2023, only in theaters.0comments