Ahead of the long-awaited U.S. theatrical release of the latest entry in the Fast & Furious universe, Vin Diesel is looking back on his friendship with the late Paul Walker, a fellow franchise star who died at age 40 in a single-car crash in 2013.
Over the weekend, Diesel—who plays Dom Toretto in the franchise—shared a photo of himself and Walker that was sent to him by Walker’s daughter Meadow. In the caption of his IG post, Diesel said he was “filled with emotion” after Meadow sent him the photo, connecting this moment with the fact that he’s currently in pre-production for more Fast & Furious and hopes to continue making Walker “proud” of his work.
“Naturally, one gets filled with emotion, purpose and ultimately gratitude,” Diesel said. “Eternal brotherhood is a blessing beyond words. Hope to make you proud… All love, Always.”
Last November, Diesel—who’s helped keep Walker’s legacy a central part of the global Fast & Furious discussion with each new entry in the franchise—marked the seventh anniversary of his friend and collaborator’s passing with a touching remembrance post:
In April, Diesel teased that fans can look forward to a connection between F9 and the first film in the franchise, which introduced the world to Diesel and Walker’s onscreen personas. In the same interview, per Entertainment Weekly, Diesel reflected on a key bit of advice he received from Walker prior to the release of the inaugural Fast & Furious entry.
“Now he had already had some films out, so he was a little more familiar with what was to come, and he said, ‘Vin, take all of this in. Take in the fact that all these people are just walking by us,’” Diesel recalled. “I said, ‘Why,’ and he said, ‘Because when this movie comes out, our anonymity will be gone.’ It was so telling, and it was so surreal, how he knew.”
On Monday, Variety reported that F9 is the mystery “planetary blockbuster” previously teased as part of this year’s Cannes Film Festival in July. Here in the States, the latest Fast & Furious universe-expander will hit theaters on June 25 after being met with delays brought on by the pandemic.
Below, revisit the latest trailer: