Paul Walker’s ‘Fast & Furious’ Franchise To Release ‘Furious 8’ in 2017

Though Paul Walker will not be there, his franchise lives on, and on, and on.

The Huffington Post is reporting that Walker’s co-star, Vin Diesel, confirmed that Furious 8 will be released on April 14, 2017. Diesel made the announcement at Universal’s CinemaCon at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas this week.

Diesel reminded the theater owners that had gathered there that it was two years previous when he and Walker both announced the release of Furious 7 on the same stage. “We were giddy and excited,” said Diesel. “You all gave me so much confidence. There was so much love.”

Now, choking back tears, Diesel said, “It means a lot to me to get your blessing.”

Walker, a mainstay in the Fast & Furious franchise and a growing Hollywood star, tragically died in a high-speed single car crash on November 30, 2013. The accident also killed Walker’s friend, Roger Rodas. At the time of Walker’s death, Furious 7 was essentially half-finished. Through the use of special effects technicians and body doubles, however, the movie was completed, including Walker’s parts. Domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou termed the film’s completion “a cathartic experience for fans of Walker.”

Footage of the final moment of Furious 7, a scene in which Walker and Diesel go on one final car race before going their separate ways, played on the giant screen at the CinemaCon before Deisel made his announcement.

“You’ve been so loyal all along,” Diesel told the crowd. “You helped us create history here.”

International Business Times is reporting an interesting plot twist for Furious 8. Kurt Russell is returning to the Fast & Furious franchise in an effort to cover the loss of Walker. Russell will reprise his Mr. Nobody role, but the role will be expanded, which the producers wanted to do since Furious 8 is going to be primarily based in New York City.

“I got an idea, a sense of what Vin maybe wants to do in the future that this character could be a good part of,” Russell revealed during the Jimmy Kimmel Live show.

“We created somebody that I think is, you know, he’s a mystery man, he’s ‘Mr. Nobody’ we never know his name and you never know quite what world he’s in and I think that’s what’s fun and exciting about it. If they do more and if it goes on, we’ll try to do something to top this, which I’ll tell you is going to be pretty hard to do,” he added.

Furious 7 recently topped the $1 billion mark, looking to surpass $1.4 billion soon.

[Image courtesy of ABC News]