With the eighth installment on the point of release, it seems nothing can put the brakes on the behemoth that is the Fast & Furious franchise. The Fate of the Furious promises to throw up some big challenges for the Fast fam, but fans are confident it's nothing the crew can't handle. But while the characters of the films seem unstoppable, it was almost another story for the future of the entire franchise following the tragic death of Paul Walker in 2013.
Along with #VinDiesel, the two formed the core of the series, with Walker having been a part of every film in the franchise, with the exception of Tokyo Drift. When he sadly passed away after a horrific car crash on November 20, 2013, production was still underway on Furious 7, though was immediately put on hold when Walker died.
Now in an interview with The Bill Simmons Podcast, producer Neal Moritz has spoken out about the accident and how the entire franchise was almost stopped in its tracks completely, with the cast and crew unable to see how it could ever move forward from this loss. Moritz said:
"Paul was the greatest guy I’ve ever met. He was a real guy’s guy. Girls loved him. Guys loved him. He was so full of life, a surfer, outdoorsman, more than an actor, even though he was really good at what he did. He was just the greatest guy in the world. Honestly, when that happened, when his passing happened, when that accident happened, we were like, ‘We’re not gonna finish the movie.' We'd done over half the movie. We were like ‘We can't finish the movie. We just can’t do it.' And Universal said 'take some time. Think about it. See what you guys want to do.' We didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know what we could do or what we should do."
- Tokyo Drift Never Ends: The 'Fast And Furious' Japanese Titles Are The Best Thing Ever
- A 'Wheely' Different Outcome: Writer Reveals The Original Planned Ending For 'Furious 7'
- Timothy Olyphant Was The First Choice To Play Dominic Toretto In 'The Fast And The Furious'
After taking some time to think about how the film could be tastefully finished in a way that would preserve Paul Walker's legacy, screenwriter Chris Morgan eventually came up with the iconic and emotional scene where Dom and Brian part ways on a road, with Brian having retired to live a quieter life with wife Mia and son Jack. Mortiz recalled:
It wasn’t until Chris Morgan came up with the idea at the end of the road splitting that we knew we had a way, a path to the end of this movie. Then we had to work our way backwards and figure out with the footage we already had existing and with the special effects things we were able to do, that we could make that story work. That scene, in combination with that song, it was perfect.
Of course the moment between Dom and Brian on the road was the perfect send off, and the Wiz Khalifa's " See You Again" has become synonymous with the scene. It was a truly emotional part of the film, and nothing less than what Walker, or his character, deserved.
#TheFateoftheFurious will be in theaters from April 14.