Vin Diesel paid tribute to Paul Walker at the Universal Pictures CinemaCon presentation Wednesday when talking about “The Fate of the Furious,” the first film of the franchise to not to feature the actor, who passed away in 2013.
“It’s a hard one, it was a hard decision to make,” Diesel said. “But… part of Paul’s legacy lives through every frame of this shoot. Every time you see any of the cast […] on the screen, you are reminded of this angel that was so integral to this concept of brotherhood for our millennium and there’s something beautiful about that. There’s something celebratory about that. The irony is that, when I thought about going into this eighth chapter, it was Paul Walker who promised eight. Played over and over in my brain, him saying, ‘eight is guaranteed.’ I always feel like he’s looking down on us, so we never want to let him down.”
After Diesel’s tribute to his friend, Universal surprised the audience with an unannounced screening of “Fate of the Furious.”
Directed by “Straight Outta Compton” helmer F. Gary Gray, “Fate of the Furious” sees the family split apart after Dominic Toretto joins forces with an international criminal, turning his former teammates into adversaries. It stars Diesel, Charlize Theron, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Helen Mirren, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Scott Eastwood, and Kurt Russell.
Walker died in a car accident in 2013, but still filmed some of “Furious 7” before his brothers stepped in to complete his scenes.
“The Fate of the Furious,” kicking off a completely new trilogy of the series, hits theaters on April 14.