Vin Diesel Says He Feels Paul Walker Told Him To Cast John Cena In Fast & Furious 9

Paul Walker

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker weren’t just co-stars for over a decade as part of the Fast & Furious franchise, they were brothers off screen as well. Walker’s daughter Meadow refers to the action hero as her Uncle Vin and has since childhood, while he named his own child Paulina as a tribute to his longtime close friend after his tragic passing in 2013.

As the driving force behind the franchise since the very beginning, Diesel has always ensured that Walker’s memory has been integral to each new installment made after his death, to the extent that he admitted that he made a promise that Fast & Furious would make it to ten movies based on a conversation the two had years ago, and Justin Lin will helm the tenth and eleventh films before The Fast Saga draws to a close.

Not only that, but in a new interview, the Riddick star revealed that when he met John Cena to discuss the possibility of the wrestler-turned-actor joining the family, he felt as though Walker was responsible for sending him into Diesel’s path.

“I remember once we started getting closer to production, Justin and I would talk about how harrowing it would be to actually cast a new Toretto. The brother of Toretto. There’s so many different directions you could go. And I remember John Cena coming into this Dom Shrine that I had where I would kind of go to meditate and train and start getting into that Dom state of mind. And I remember John coming in and… call this crazy, but I remember feeling as though Pablo, Paul Walker, had sent him in. I remember talking to Justin that night and saying, ‘My gut and my heart feels like this was meant to be’.”

Cena will play Jakob Toretto in the upcoming blockbuster, who is obviously the top secret brother we’ve never seen or heard mentioned once over the last 20 years who coincidentally happens to be a master thief, deadly assassin and expert precision driver with revenge on his mind. It’s those kind of wild plot developments that make Fast & Furious what it is, something Walker would no doubt appreciate having starred in six of the first seven entries and been a key part of the brand’s evolution from mid-budget street racing thrillers into globetrotting action epics.