With The Fate of the Furious set to be released in a few days, Director F. Gary Gray revealed how he felt directing the film. He also admitted that the legacy of the late Paul Walker had a profound influence on the making of the film.
Fast 8, as it was known during production, is the eighth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise. It is also the second film since The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift to not star Walker.
The 40-year old actor died in a car crash in 2013 during a charity event to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The accident occurred in the middle of filming of Furious 7 which prompted Universal Pictures to put production on hold.
The untimely death of Walker during F7’s production has left the cast to finish the franchise on their own. Now, after the success of the film, the latest and possibly the final installment of the franchise will finally hit theaters.
The Fate of the Furious Is A Tribute To Paul Walker
If F7 was the final film to feature the late actor, Fast 8 will be the tribute to him. This is according to Director F. Gary Gray. Speaking to CinemaBlend, Gray acknowledged that Walker’s legacy is a major consideration for every major decision made during production.
“Every major decision that was made in this film, we considered Paul’s legacy. Vin [Diesel] is spiritually connected to this franchise in ways that I’ve never seen an actor/producer connected to a franchise. And they were brothers, you know, on and off screen.” said Gray during the interview.
Gray was brought in to direct The Fate of the Furious after his huge success with Straight Outta Compton. Despite his first time directing a Fast and the Furious film, he was quickly briefed on the almost familial bond shared by the cast.
This prompted Gray to make a film that would make Paul Walker proud. With this vision in mind, it probably helped that the previous film managed to bring about an ending that tied up all loose ends.
Despite passing away before production of F7 was finished, they managed to pull through. With Paul’s brothers Cody and Caleb filling in as stand-ins and the help of rewrites and special effects, his remaining scenes were made possible to shoot. Among these is the scene where his character, Brian, bids a touching farewell to Diesel’s character, Dom.
And it’s not just Gray who is doing his best to honor Walker in his work. Vin Diesel has been adamant about paying tribute to his fallen brother.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cast of Fast 8 was at the New York’s Radio City Music Hall for the world premiere of the film. During the introduction, they gave tribute to Walker with Diesel attributing its success to “the decades of work that my brother Pablo put into this franchise,”
“Pablo, I hope you are proud tonight,” Diesel said to the audience which also included Walker’s mother, Cheryl, and his daughter, Meadow. Fellow cast member Ludacris also told reporters in the venue, “We like to say the last one is for Paul and this one is from Paul,” adding that they “wanted to make the best movie possible.”
Fate of the Furious Is Expected To Make A Box Office Slay
The Fate of the Furious is projected to make $110-120 million during its opening weekend. Critical response to the film was also positive with a 75% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
While many fans still see F7 as the most memorable film of the franchise, Fate of the Furious 8 seems to be the film that will bring all of it together. Wherever Paul Walker is now, it would be safe to say that he is definitely proud of his legacy.
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