Vin Diesel teases that Fast & Furious 11, the final installment in the franchise, will give Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner a true goodbye.
Fast & Furious 11 is currently planned to mark the end of the long-running franchise, and star Vin Diesel shares that the film will feature a touching goodbye to Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner. After first being introduced in the franchise’s debut installment in 2001, Brian featured in most subsequent sequels until Walker’s tragic death in 2013. Brian was digitally recreated for parts of Furious 7 and the character remains alive in the world of the films, even though he hasn’t actually appeared on screen.
In a recent interview with Total Film (via GamesRadar), Diesel reveals that Fast & Furious 11 will feature a proper goodbye for Walker’s character. Director Louis Leterrier has already confirmed that Brian will only feature in Fast X in flashback footage from Fast Five, but Diesel’s latest comment suggests that Brian might be digitally added into the upcoming final installment. Check out Diesel’s full comment below:
“That moment in 2013 when the world was struggling with his loss, the studio made a very bold and righteous and daring decision to keep Brian O’Conner alive. I will give you this without spoiling anything: I couldn’t imagine this saga ending without truly saying goodbye to Brian O’Conner.”
Should Fast & Furious 11 Digitally Recreate Paul Walker?
Bringing dead actors back to life through the magic of CGI is something that Hollywood is very much still grappling with not only technologically but also ethically. Walker was about halfway through filming Furious 7 when he died, and his family members subsequently gave permission for the production to recreate the late actor’s likeness through digital means – Walker’s brothers even served as body doubles. Although Walker’s death hit the production and audiences hard, Furious 7 arguably pulled off the impossible by giving the actor a perfect sendoff.
Should Walker’s family once again give their permission for him to be brought back using CGI for Fast & Furious 11, this may actually be the best way to say for audiences to say a final goodbye to the actor and his character. Since Brian is alive in the world of the films and the franchise plays heavily on themes of family, it might actually be somewhat disappointing to not see Brian again in some form for the finale, even if it’s only for a very brief moment.
Furious 7 already demonstrated back in 2015 that the technology exists to fairly convincingly recreate actors using CGI, and things have only advanced since then. If Brian does return in Fast & Furious 11, it’s likely that the effects will end up looking far better than they did in Furious 7. It remains to be seen how Fast & Furious 11 will end the franchise, but it does seem fitting that the final installment will feature some sort of tribute or farewell to the late actor who played such an integral role in shaping the franchise.