Vin Diesel has been making the rounds promoting his new film Bloodshot (which needs all the help it can get at this point) and in addition to that, has been giving updates on Fast & Furious 9. The next installment in the Fast Saga was originally set for release in May with the actor assuring fans that the movie would keep its release date despite the recent coronavirus pandemic.
Unfortunately, though, Diesel doesn’t run Universal and F9 has been moved a full year to April 2021. That gives the entire production more time to work on the film if need be and based on a recent post from Vin on social media, there’s now speculation that Brian O’Conner, played by the late Paul Walker, will return to the series.
Walker died on November 30th, 2013 in a car accident during a break from shooting Furious 7. In order to finish the film, the production had to use Walker’s brothers, Cody and Caleb, as stand-ins. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know that the end product is actually quite remarkable and the ending is surprisingly moving and poignant for a franchise as silly as this one.
The sendoff for O’Conner seemed perfect, too, but Diesel took to Instagram recently to share an image of the pair as well as a message. It could be seen as nothing more than paying tribute to Walker, but many fans online seem to think it’s creating buzz for the possibility of the beloved character’s return.
Of course, Diesel is never shy about self-promotion and Cody Walker did visit the set of Fast & Furious 9, with Vin posing for a photo with him. And if you watch the trailer, Jordana Brewster appears to be back in the fold after a cameo in the last movie. She’s supposed to be away with Brian and their two kids, but is Brian perhaps watching the children while Mia helps Dom and the crew save the world again?
Time will tell, but now that the movie doesn’t come out for another year, there’s plenty of time to speculate. And for what it’s worth, there’ve been several reports that say we will indeed see the character back in action. But even if Walker doesn’t appear in Fast & Furious 9, I’d have to imagine that he’ll show up in some capacity for Fast 10, as it’s set to be the final movie in the saga.