Paul Walker’s Tragic Passing
The cast, crew, and Fast & Furious fandom was shaken to its core on November 30, 2013 (almost six years ago!) when Paul Walker was killed in a car crash. Walker had yet to finish filming the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, Furious 7. His work was famously completed, however, with the use of cutting edge CGI and the help of his brothers Cody Walker and Caleb Walker.
Furious 7 director, James Wan and Universal Pictures were presented with some difficult choices about how to proceed after the death of Paul Walker. It was the conscientious of the cast and crew as well as Walker’s family that the best way to honor Paul’s death would be to continue the franchise that he had poured so much into.
Wan and company elegantly managed to tweak the film and give Walker’s on-screen character, Brian O’Conner the sendoff he deserved as well… literally driving off into the sunset, retiring from the team to be with his family.
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O’Conner was mentioned in 2017’s The Fate of the Furious as a viable person to contact about Dom Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) betrayal, but it was decided that they wouldn’t include Brian because of their promise to respect his retirement.
It looks like the team (and Universal) have had a change of heart, however.
A source close to FandomWire, with inside knowledge of the Fast & Furious 9 production has revealed that they are currently casting a Paul Walker double.
What This Means?
It should be noted that O’Conner’s inclusion would be in a very limited capacity. Nothing more than a flashback or cameo. They managed to flawlessly recreate Paul Walker’s likeness for Furious 7, but that was limited to only a handful of shots.
The studio, cast, and crew have been nothing except respectful to Paul Walker’s memory in regards to how his character and legacy has been handled. If Universal Pictures has indeed decided to incorporate Brian O’Conner in Fast & Furious 9, it is safe to say that it will be to serve the story and the world that Walker helped build, as well as, respect the memory of Paul Walker himself.
Fast & Furious 9 is set to hit theaters on May 22, 2020. Justin Lin is returning to the franchise as director. Lin previously directed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6.
Vin Diesel will reprise the role of Dominic Toretto. Returning cast members include Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron. New additions to the cast include John Cena, Finn Cole, Anna Sawai, Vinnie Bennett, and Michael Rooker
Do you think Fast & Furious should bring back Paul Walker’s character?