Vin Diesel is praying his late co-star and pal Paul Walker will be “proud” of the next installment of their Fast & Furious franchise.
Walker was killed in a car crash in November, 2013, midway through shooting Furious 7. The movie was subsequently dedicated to the tragic actor, and when Diesel later announced plans for the final three films in the series, he vowed to ensure they honored Paul’s memory.
Production on the eighth installment, titled The Fate of the Furious, recently wrapped and in an emotional post on Instagram on Tuesday (20Dec16), Vin admitted filming the latest action epic without Paul’s involvement proved to be a “challenging task”.
However, the 49-year-old reveals he drew inspiration from the late star to press on with the shoot and he hopes Paul will be smiling down on him from above.
“You Pablo have given me strength… purpose and resolve,” he captioned an old photo of the two pals. “I promised you we would make something you would be proud of and I pray that we have… miss you. Family above everything!”
The Fate of the Furious, formerly known as Fast 8, will be the first in the franchise since 2006’s Tokyo Drift not to feature Paul, who portrayed undercover police officer-turned-street racer Brian O’Conner, a role he initially played in the original 2001 film The Fast and the Furious.
Diesel and his longtime co-stars, including Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, and Ludacris, all return for the new movie, while new cast members include Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, and Scott Eastwood.
The Fate of the Furious is set for release in April (17).