The Fast & Furious series is one that never fails to let up, bringing in millions at the box office and becoming one of the greatest modern day franchises the world has seen. Showing no signs of slowing down, the eighth movie in the series – The Fate of the Furious – will come to theaters in April, and if the teasers and trailers released in anticipation are anything to go by, it’s going to be one of the most intense and chaotic affairs so far.

One of the original staples of the Fast & Furious movies was actor Paul Walker, who gained international acclaim as Brian O’Conner. Debuting in the original movie and reprising the role in every sequel that came after, his untimely death came in 2013 at 40 years-old when he was the victim of a single-vehicle collision. Many thought his death would signal the end of the Fast & Furious series, but now co-star Vin Diesel has opened up about why the decision was made to carry on.

Speaking to Total Film Magazine (hat tip Games Radar), the actor explained how something Walker himself had said served as inspiration for the franchise’s continuation:

“It wasn’t just a question of whether this franchise could work without Paul. It was whether I could even survive doing it without Paul. I’d seen this video of Paul guaranteeing eight, while we were making seven. That hit me. You’re talking about a bond and a brotherhood. The pain wasn’t about whether something would work. F**k the film. It was about the loss of someone very important in my life. Was there ever any moment I wasn’t thinking about him? That’s the question. Every day I’d be saying, ‘This movie has to be amazing because of Paul.’”

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The interview referenced by Diesel is thought to be one with Collider in November 2013, just a few days before Walker’s life ended. In it, the actor said an eighth addition to the series was “guaranteed”, even if Furious 7 flopped. Diesel clearly took that as Walker’s blessing, agreeing to be a part of The Fate of the Furious.

Of course, we now know that a ninth and tenth addition to the franchise are on their way, with release dates already confirmed for both. There were initially rumors that Walker’s brother Cody would be acting in the two films so that the character Brian O’Conner could be digitally inserted into the movie, but that’s now been denied.

On the face of things, one has to wonder exactly how long a franchise like this can last before becoming stale. Despite that, the films continue to gain good critical and commercial reception, so while the series remains one of Universal Pictures’ biggest properties, anything is possible.

NEXT: Fate of the Furious Trailer Breakdown

Source: Total Film Magazine (via Game Radar)

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