‘Fast and Furious 7’ Pays Tribute to Paul Walker in a New Featurette
When Furious 7 premiered to an enthusiastic audience last week during the SXSW film festival, the screening was unsurprisingly focused on the absence of Paul Walker. Universal, director James Wan and the rest of the cast had a strange and difficult task. How, exactly, do you finish a movie when one of your leading men passed away in the middle of filming? And now that the film is finished, how do you address the elephant in the room?
The answer: by confronting it head-on. A new featurette has arrived online with one purpose: to pay tribute to Walker and promise fans that his swan song is a worthy tribute.
Vin Diesel, who recently named his baby daughter after Walker (Paulina), is the chief talking head in this video, speaking about how important Walker was to the series and how the movies aren’t about fast cars and action scenes, but actually (you guessed it) family. Fans love to poke fun at the series’ constant references to family and brotherhood, but it takes on a whole new context here. If the bromance between Diesel’s Dom and Walker’s Bryan was cute but kitschy before, it’s now genuinely moving.
The finished film deals with Walker’s absence carefully and tastefully and this featurette only continues the trend. To say nothing would be seen as disrespectful, so videos like this allow fans to come to terms with what happened offscreen. It may seem silly to grieve for a movie star we haven’t met, but we love these big, dumb movies and the extremely likable people in them. Our wake for Walker is held in a YouTube embed and Diesel is the guy giving the best speech.
Furious 7 drives into theaters on April 3, 2015.