JASMINE PALANGVANH ’17
The franchise known as The Fast and the Furious is worth $3.5 billion and counting. The seventh installment was released on April 3, 2015. To date, the movie has grossed over $1.4 billion worldwide. Millions of people flocked into theaters to see this movie in particular because of the passing of one of its leading actors, Paul Walker.
Paul Walker unexpectedly and tragically died in a car crash Nov. 30, 2013 in Santa Clarita, Calif. Many were curious to see how the seventh movie would continue on without the beloved actor. Walker finished most of Furious 7, but when extra footage was needed, Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, stepped up to help finish production. With the help of CGI, Walker’s brothers were seamlessly integrated into the film.
A debate rose after the death of Walker as to how they would write off his character, Brian O’Conner. It was unclear whether writers were going to kill off his character or have him ride off into the sunset. Ultimately, the ending of Furious 7 honors the actor, pays homage to him, and hopefully pleases fans and the audience. However, even though the end of the movie ends with Walker, there is a clear indicator that there will be an eighth installment.
Vin Diesel, who plays Dominic Toretto, revealed Furious 8 is set to release April 14, 2017 and could possibly take place in New York City. Fans and audience members are questioning how the story will continue without O’Conner.
Some people say that the franchise should end at Furious 7 because it will not be the same without Walker. They also refuse to watch the next movie. Others say it is disrespectful for the franchise to continue on without one of its leading actors and that producers are continuing on with the story just for the money.
However, there are some die hard fans that would support the franchise no matter what. Others admit although they would like the franchise to stop indefinitely, they will most likely see the next movie.
Diesel, who was like a brother to Walker, says “seven was for Paul, eight is from Paul.” It seems just in Diesel’s opinion to continue on with the story, because that’s what Walker would have wanted, even if it’s just for “one last ride.”