The untimely death of Paul Walker in 2013 cast a long shadow on the Fast And The Furious franchise. Production on Furious 7 even shut down completely for a time as the powers that be questioned how, or even if, they could proceed. Ultimately, though, the robust box office totals for the series helped determine that Furious 7 would provide Walker’s Brian O’Conner with a tasteful, $1.5 billion-grossing swan song.
But while Furious 7 provided touching closure for the Furious family, co-star Vin Diesel apparently feels there’s more of O’Conner’s story to tell. According to ScreenCrush, Diesel spoke at length to Caleb and Cody Walker about the possibility of returning their brother to the franchise in some form: “I had a phone call with Vin for about an hour and we really discussed this a while back. He wanted [our] blessing,” Caleb said, noting that Diesel wanted to know when it “would be acceptable to maybe bring Paul’s character back… to really kind of let his fans know he’s still out there.”
Furious 7’s overt imagery of an angelic Paul Walker literally cruising off into the sunset seems to eliminates doubts as to O’Conner’s fate, but Diesel may not be ready to say goodbye to his co-star and friend who helped build the Fast And The Furious film series. If the goal really is to tastefully establish the continued existence and prosperity of Brian O’Conner, that could be accomplished by have Dominic smile wistfully at a postcard stuck to the sun visor of his Dodge Charger. That would be preferable to having more CGI death-masks grafted onto stunt-double relatives.
Either way, we’ll find out when Fast 8 Tokyo drifts into theaters on April 14.