As #TheFateoftheFurious zooms down the highway with an action-packed, and frankly astounding, eighth Fast film, we couldn't be further from the street racing of Rob Cohen's original film. Looking back at the series, it was arguably Fast Five that reinvigorated the franchise, which was then topped by Fast 6 and Furious 7.
Furious 7 is heralded as one of the best in the series, but it could've been a very different story and we actually nearly didn't get a seventh film at all. The tragic passing of #PaulWalker intervened mid-way through filming Furious 7, production shut down, and no one was sure whether #JamesWan would complete the film.
Although some clever editing and CGI brought Brian O'Conner into the film once more, Walker's death drastically altered the film. We all remember the ending that we actually got, holding back the tears as an emotional Walker and #VinDiesel part ways in their motors. Sometimes you need a break from high-adrenaline chases and the sunlight bouncing off #DwayneJohnson's muscles, and it sounds like Universal had that nailed with the original ending for Furious 7
Not So Furious
Since the days of Tokyo Drift, writer Chris Morgan has penned the series, so if anyone knows these characters better than we do, it is Morgan. Recently speaking to Collider, Morgan revealed the original Walker-orientated ending he had planned:
“Well, the original ending, if I remember correctly, was our guys end up solving the problem and then kind of becoming — again, going more outlaw, it was sort of a happier ending that kind of ends with the insinuation that they were gonna go off onto this heist or this job. But the core issue for Brian, Paul’s character, was this kind of ‘Who am I?’ sort of question."
"He’s a guy who used to be a cop and in the thick of the action and a racer, and all this stuff, and now he has an amazing wife, a kid and another one on the way. Then he starts to look at his life and it’s not a midlife crisis but to say — we said it in the movie, ‘I miss the bullets, I miss the action’ and the point of the adventure was to show by the end of it that the thing that’s truly important to him is his family and being there. It wouldn’t mean that he has to stop those adventures or those things, but the context is just a little bit different, he has a different understanding of who he is at his core and what’s most important in life.”
Although Universal decided to retire the character after Walker's death, Morgan's original ending clearly opened up a much larger story arc for Brian. Walker would've undoubtedly spanned into the future of the franchise, but Morgan also revealed that Brian driving off into the sunset was also considered the end of the series as a whole:
“In the end of the movie we were kind of just leaning into kind of a different sort of adventure, but then with what happened to Paul, once that film came out and it did well and it was great, it could’ve been the end of the franchise. We actually where thinking there for a minute, ‘Maybe we just leave this, go out on a good note and leave it alone’ and we all kind of made an agreement to say that we wouldn’t revisit this unless we had a story that did something dramatically different, that was worthy of being done.”
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The Fast And The Glorious
You have to admire the thought process that went into writing Walker out of the franchise in such a fitting way, however, his role moving forward was still intended to be very much at the center of the group. With an ever-increasing number of Fast films, Fast 7 stands out as a brilliant tribute to Walker and definitely the right choice to make.
For fans of the nitros-pumped series, we know that lucky number seven was just the start of a new era for the films. As we enter the espionage-filled era of The Fate of the Furious, and with ninth and tenth films planned for 2019 and 2021, the "fate" of the films is anything but up in the air. With Fate kicking off a new trilogy, who knows where we will go next; but if battling submarines isn't your thing, how about a trip into space?
Check out the trailer for The Fate of the Furious, and don't forget our poll below!
Did the series make the right decision to write Brian out?
[Poll Image Credit: Universal]