When Paul Walker passed away in a car crash mid-production on Furious 7, the world mourned. Director James Wan and Universal Pictures put the film on hold as they mulled on how to proceed without one of the franchise’s biggest stars – or whether or not to go forward at all. Then, with the help of Walker’s brothers and some impressive visual effects, Walker was given a fitting sendoff in the film.
We thought it would be the last we’d see of Brian O’Conner, his Fast & Furious character. But new reports suggest we thought wrong.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody Walker, at a fundraising event for Paul, mentioned they’d spoken to Vin Diesel about how the series could continue after Fast & Furious 8.
“I had a phone call with Vin for about an hour and we really discussed this a while back. He wanted (our) blessing. (Diesel asked if it) would be acceptable to maybe bring Paul’s character back… to really kind of let his fans know he’s still out there,” said Caleb.
Fast and Furious 8 is currently in production under the direction of F Gary Gray for a 2017 release. As Vin Diesel previously announced, the eighth film would be the first in the final trilogy that will close out with Fast 9 in 2019 and Fast 10 in 2021.
From what Caleb Walker revealed, Diesel and the producers seem to be actually contemplating bringing Brian O’Conner back. This would probably be achieved using the same state-of-the-art effects they used in Furious 7. And of course, Caleb and Cody will probably do body double work on the films if this ever pans out.
While it’s exciting to get more Brian O’Conner – we still don’t know how the team’s dynamics will change without him – we can’t ignore the heartfelt sendoff Walker was given in the last film. Whether or not bringing him back would take away from the emotional arc of the story is what we’re excited to see.