Tyrese Gibson has opened up about continuing the Fast And Furious franchise without Paul Walker.
Walker, who played Brian O’Conner throughout the series, died in a car crash at the age of 40 on November 30, 2013. At the time, Walker was in the midst of filming Furious 7, which was then rewritten and reshoot with the actor’s brothers filling in as his stand-ins.
Furious 7 proved to be the highest grossing film of the entire franchise, and was met with superlative reviews, meaning that a sequel The Fate Of The Furious followed in April, 2017, while F9 is now scheduled for release on April 2, 2021, too.
Gibson recently told Maxim that, despite his death, Walker has continued to influence the franchise.
“People will say Paul is not in it so why are you guys continuing? That's exactly why we're continuing cause we made the shift in my mind saying we have to do this for Paul.”
“But the biggest decision came from us talking to Paul's family and them giving us their blessing. The last movie that Paul did was 7, and then to see Paul's father, mother and brothers at the premiere of [The Fate of the Furious], it just sends the message that they're fully supporting us every step of the way.”
Gibson also took this opportunity to tease the addition of John Cena to the Fast And Furious family as Jacob Toretto, the brother to Vin Diesel’s Dominic. Gibson was shocked at how much he enjoyed working with Cena, admitting, “We expected him to be an a**hole cause he’s a wrestler and his line of work is so aggressive. We just expected him to be aggressive. He’s just the nicest guy ever.”