Furious 7, the next installment of the Fast and Furious movie franchise, seems to have been a long time coming but it is now in sight and, as much as anything, it will be a final screen tribute to actor Paul Walker. The movie is slated for release in about six months and the advance publicity is set to overwhelm social media as well as the entertainment news business.
The official poster for Furious 7 was unveiled this week and Universal Studios will host a launch event for the first trailer in Los Angeles on November 1. The event, billed as “The Road to Furious 7,” will be broadcast live from noon Pacific. Fans will be able to watch on the Fast & Furious Facebook page or on the E! Website. Several of the cast members, including Vin Diesel, will be making appearances at the trailer launch event.
Fast and Furious veteran and key protagonist Vin Diesel is back for the new movie, but the biggest star will undoubtedly be the late Paul Walker, who died tragically in a car crash almost one year ago. Jordana Brewster will also be back and Walker’s brothers, Cody and Caleb – who both bear a resemblance to their actor brother and helped to complete the movie – will also appear. When asked about how it felt to be involved with Furious 7, in the context of it being Paul Walker’s final screen appearance, Brewster told E! “I’ve heard he’s really really good in it, so I look forward to seeing him too. Obviously it will be bittersweet, but I think it’s a way for fans to revisit him.”
Brewster says that she hasn’t seen the final movie but has seen the trailer. “…it looks amazing,” she told E! “It’s so cool to me that each one sort of out does the other.”
Writing on Facebook Tuesday, actor Vin Diesel also reflected on how far the Fast and Furious series had come and what it would have meant to Walker: “…it was emotional and bittersweet. We all went above and beyond to make Pablo [Walker] proud, but man, I wish he could see what we have created and just how far we have come.” Walker died last year before filming for Furious 7 was completed. Production of the new movie was shut down after Walker’s untimely death. He had already filmed many of his scenes and it was not certain, at the time, how the plot of Furious 7 would handle his absence. The story-line was altered to enable completion of the movie, with Walker’s brothers acting as stand-ins for him and his character ‘retiring’ from racing. The film boasts a high-powered cast, including Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez and Lucas Black.
Fans of the franchise, which has become famous for its modified street racing cars, insane chases and wild stunts, should be in for a treat as the latest installment is said to feature stunts that may outdo its predecessors. brief glimpses of the trailer have been put out, along with a few stills from Furious 7. The movie has been dedicated to Paul Walker and is considered to be a tribute to him and a way to forever remember him at his best.
Opinion by Graham J Noble