The “Fast and the Furious” movies may be popcorn blockbusters, filled with larger than life characters who do increasingly ridiculous things with cars, but it’s also about family.
The surrogate family that comprises the “Fast and Furious” cast have spoken numerous times about how Paul Walker’s tragic death affected filming 2015’s “Furious 7.” After the tear-jerking tribute to not only Brian O’ Connor but Walker himself at the end of the film, it may have seemed controversial to some that the studio and cast decided to keep the franchise rolling.
In a recent interview with Total Film Magazine, Diesel talked about his own doubts of returning for an eighth installment. “It wasn’t just a question of whether this franchise could work without Paul,” Diesel said. “It was whether I could even survive doing it without Paul.”
Appropriately, it was a 2013 interview with Walker himself speaking to his co-star and friend’s role in keeping the franchise alive that helped motivate Diesel to make the latest installment. “I’d seen this video of Paul guaranteeing eight, while we were making seven. That hit me.”
Below is the excerpt from the Collider interview Diesel seems to be referring to:
“Well, the studio supposedly wants 8, 9 and 10. I’ll be 50. Even if 7 were to [tank], there’s at least an 8. That’s a guarantee. The thing that’s pretty crazy is that neither Vin nor I were going back to do the third one. They were going to do a direct-to-video 4. They were going to dispose it and be done with it. But then, Vin was like, “No, I’ll come in for a cameo,” because it wasn’t testing well. He wanted to set up the fourth one and the studio went for it, and we got a second life. It was supposed to be done already.”
“You’re talking about a bond and a brotherhood,” Diesel added in his recent interview. “The pain wasn’t about whether something would work. Fuck 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.’”
Directed by F. Gary Gray, the film also stars returning franchise veterans Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell, joined by newcomers Charlize Theron, Scott Eastwood and Helen Mirren. “The Fate of the Furious” opens April 14, 2017.
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