Will Paul Walker's Brian O'Conner Be In Future Fast & Furious Sequels?
If you’ve seen any of the previous iterations of the multi-billion dollar Fast and Furious franchise, then you know how most of them end: the entirety of Dom’s ragtag crew gathered at a BBQ with cold Coronas. Brian O’Conner was noticeably missing at the BBQ in the 8th installment—the actor behind O’Conner, Paul Walker, tragically died in a Porsche Carrera GT crash during the filming of Furious 7, and with the help of his brothers (and CGI), they completed the movie.
The franchise gave O’Conner the happy ending Walker never had: he retired from the benevolent crime crew, spending his days in Miami. In Walker’s final Fast appearance at the end of Furious 7, he’s shown driving off into the sunset with a montage of O’Conner moments throughout the years, set to the tune of "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. If you don’t get a little teary eyed at the end of Furious 7, you simply have no heart.
While O’Conner is only mentioned briefly in F8: Fate of the Furious, his existence is nodded to in a bigger way in F9. At the BBQ, as they are about to sit down and say grace, Dom says, “Hold on, there’s still an empty chair.” Mia says “He’s on the way.” And then we see a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R that O’Conner drove in Fast & Furious pull into the driveway. And before we see who gets out, the credits roll.
So does this mean that we could see more Brian O’Conner in the final two installments of the Fast and Furious? Here's what director Justin Lin told Variety in regard to the future of Brian in the Fast universe:
“The idea of Brian O’Connor still alive in this universe, it’s very impactful and it’s very important. When we talk about Fast 9, this is the first time for me creatively approaching it not as just the one film. In the past, I’ve always felt like, we’re lucky enough to do one, let’s do everything we can. But Vin finally talked me into it, you know, when I came back, he’s like, 'Well, let’s think about it as a final chapter.' So Fast 9 is really the beginning of the final chapter of the saga. So in doing that I think there’s a lot of room to really place our characters, and Brian obviously is a big part of the universe still.”
So the door for O'Conner's return remains open. And his brothers have even noted, in the past, their willingness to continue to have O'Conner be a part of the franchise as they did in Furious 7.
Will we see O'Conner in Fast 10 and 11, just as we saw a CGI'd Princess Leia in Rogue One? Because we're talking about a franchise that brought Han back to life because he was a fan favorite, anything's possible.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors.