When Paul Walker died in 2013 at the age of 40, he was working on the seventh installment of the series. Although he had shot a good portion of the film, there were still scenes with the late actor that needed to be completed and that is when his brothers, Caleb and Cody Walker, were brought in as stand-ins to help complete Walker’s remaining scenes. The franchise would continue without Paul with the release of The Fate of the Furious and the upcoming Fast and Furious 9 but Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, remains a part of the Fast saga in spirit. While speaking with “TMZ“, Cody Walker said he believes that his brother would love how insane the franchise has gotten and he also praised the way Vin Diesel and the Fast and Furious team wrote off Paul’s character along with how they have continued to pay tribute to him. Here is what he had to say:
“You know, I think that Vin and the whole [Fast and Furious] family have done a good job in tastefully letting the character ride off into the sunset. I think Paul would really get a kick out of where it’s gone. It’s gotten so crazy. It’s a wild, wild ride at this point. Paul was very much the purist, the real car guy. I couldn’t speculate what he would think. I just know that Vin always takes the very serious approach to keeping Paul’s legacy in mind, and has always done a nice job of paying tribute to his character. They worked together and were brothers for years.”
I happen to follow all of the Fast and Furious actors on Instagram, along with Cody Walker and Paul Walker’s daughter, Meadow. I see from their posts that the Walkers have truly become an extended part of their family. The love between that group is pretty evident and, despite people poking fun at the Fast saga’s numerous nods about family, you can tell that these real-life bonds are what really fuels this franchise and keeps it going. Cody went on to say that the success of the franchise would have beyond his brother’s wildest dreams and that he frequently meets people who credit his brother for their own love of cars:
“They were all so young when this whole thing started, and I was even younger. I was in middle school when this whole thing started, and that’s where my love of cars came from. I meet people all the time who go, ‘Your brother is the reason I love cars,’ to which I say, ‘Me too.'”
Cody was also asked about an upcoming auction of one of the original movie’s cars, a 1994 Toyota Supra. The younger Walker thinks that the car could fetch a pretty high price and that’s another thing that he believes his late brother wouldn’t be able to believe if you were to tell him that during the making of the first film:
“I think Paul would think it’s hilarious. When they filmed these movies… I don’t think if you would have asked Paul in 2001, where he thought this franchise would have gone, I don’t think he would have thought they were on the ninth film at this point. They were just having a lot of fun making a movie.”
Fast and Furious 9 is already making a killing overseas, grossing $268.9 million to date ahead of its domestic release on June 25, 2021. The next installment is said to be the last, although it will be split up into two films to complete the saga. The action may have gotten a bit ludicrous at this point, but it’s nice to know that the Walker family firmly believes that they have continued to honor Paul in the best way possible as the films have gone on.