Serving as one of the actor’s final roles, the franchise gave his character of Brian O’Conner a fitting send off while allowing more films to take place in the future.
Yet the question of whether or not another film would be made always lingered. Walker himself guaranteed there would be an eighth installment while speaking with costar Vin Diesel in promotion of Furious 7. And so long as the franchise was successful, Universal Pictures would keep on churning them out.
But how did Diesel feel about continuing on the Fate of the Furious without his friend whom he began the franchise with?
Speaking with Total Film, Diesel got candid about his involvement in the eighth installment of the series and what it means to him in the wake of Walker’s passing.
“It wasn’t just a question of whether this franchise could work without Paul,” said Diesel. “It was whether I could even survive doing it without Paul.”
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Diesel then referred to the interview of Walker’s promise for an eighth film while speaking with Collider.
“I’d seen this video of Paul guaranteeing eight, while we were making seven. That hit me…You’re talking about a bond and a brotherhood. The pain wasn’t about whether something would work. F**k the film. It was about the loss of someone very important in my life. Was there ever any moment I wasn’t thinking about him? That’s the question. Every day I’d be saying, ‘This movie has to be amazing because of Paul.’”
It remains to be seen how the next film pays tribute to the late actor, but there’s no doubt that F. Gary Gray’s installment will do exactly that.
Every actor taking part in the franchise has spoken with a deep respect and love for their friend. And Universal has denied using Walker’s brother Cody and digital effects to include him in future installments—a process they used to finish making Furious 7.
While the last movie served as a coda to Walker’s appearance in the franchise, the next one will be the first true installment without his involvement. It will be interesting to see how his absence affects the film overall.
The Fate of the Furious opens in theaters April 14, 2017.
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For The Fate of the Furious, Vin Diesel is joined by a returning all-star cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell. In addition to Theron, the series welcomes newcomers Scott Eastwood and Oscar winner Helen Mirren. The film is directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) and produced by returning producers Neal H. Moritz, Michael Fottrell, and Diesel.