While promoting Guardians of the Galaxy, Vin Diesel spoke to IGN about wrapping Fast & Furious 7 and how the film will pay tribute to the late Paul Walker while also moving the franchise forward. When asked about striking that delicate balance, and if the relationship between his character, Dominic Toretto, and Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) would evolve to help lead into the next movie, Diesel said:
“The whole magic and the whole objective is that we were able to pay homage to one of the greats in our saga and simultaneously stay consistent with that continuation that we always promise in each movie. But it’s tricky on this one. It’s taken many a sleepless nights to think about.
“While I was doing the press for Fast & Furious 6, I was talking about the fact that I mapped out the stories for Fast 7, Fast 8, and Fast 9 already. After something this heavy, this challenging, after something like this happens, you really need a second to process it all and to make sure that everything that you’re doing is the right thing.”
Walker tragically passed away late last year during a break from production on the action sequel. In a statement announcing that Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody would be stepping in to help complete unfinished scenes, the filmmakers made it clear that the plan is to allow Walker’s character to “live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role.”
During the last part of the video interview, which you can watch below, Diesel became emotional when talking about filming those final scenes without Walker:
“I was acting since I was 7 years old, and I had never thought that I would have to prepare for the day that I would have to both mourn and simultaneously pretend that the person is beside me.”
Fast & Furious 7 will be released in theaters April 3rd, 2015.