The Fate of the Furious, previously known as Fast 8, is expected to be a big hit with fans of the franchise, but, for Vin Diesel, who stars as the lead of the franchise, this new installment carries a heavy emotional price tag. To begin, The Fate of the Furious is as much a memorial and tribute to the late Paul Walker, who died while filming Furious 7, as it is a high octane action film. Vin Diesel has often remarked that Walker’s memory is to live on in Fast 8 and now, as filming wraps up and promotion begins, the star of the latest film in the franchise relives his grief anew.
If that’s not enough, Diesel is still harboring a great deal of animosity towards his Fate of the Furious co-star Dwayne Johnson and that feud may soon be played out in full public view.
The Fate of the Furious Star Vin Diesel Remembers Paul Walker
The star of The Fate of the Furious made one of his first appearances in support of the newly completed film on Wednesday at CinemaCon and, as Variety reports, Diesel wore his heart on his sleeve in talking about the film. Vin revealed that making The Fate of the Furious a reality was more than just another sequel, but the fulfillment of a promise he had made to Paul Walker, prior to that actor’s tragic death.
“It was Paul Walker who promised eight,” Diesel said. “It played over and over again in my brain.”
Walker was just 40 years old when he was killed in a 2013 car crash, but Diesel insists that Paul lives on in every scene of The Fate of the Furious and says that the late actor’s memory is like an angel to him. Vin remembers Paul as being an “integral” part of pushing the brotherhood motif in the Fast and the Furious films.
“I always feel like he’s looking down on us so we didn’t want to let him down,” said Vin Diesel, as he fought back tears.
While Paul Walker will always be a powerful influence, Diesel says he has new ideas to reinvigorate the franchise and send stories off on new tangents. To that end, Vin revealed that The Fate of the Furious will be the first film in a brand new trilogy. The actor added that he hopes to “defy expectations” with the new direction.
Vin Diesel And Dwayne Johnson Have To Be Separated
Fans at CinemaCon might have noticed that all of the major Fate of the Furious players were present, except for Dwayne Johnson. The Hollywood Reporter shares the reason for that and it has to do with the well-publicized feud between Johnson and the franchise lead, Vin Diesel. Universal Pictures intervened in the rivalry between the two stars when it began to create problems on the set, and in spite of demands that Dwayne and Vin make peace, the two are still at odds.
Now, hoping to avoid any incidents while promoting The Fate of the Furious, Universal has taken steps to ensure that Johnson and Diesel aren’t scheduled to appear at the same events. The separation became most obvious at CinemaCon, when Dwayne Johnson was on hand to promote Baywatch, but had already departed by the time The Fate of the Furious panel made their appearances.
“They’re keeping them separated as much as possible,” said one Universal source.
No one can say exactly what started the feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, but it became public when Johnson vented his feelings in an Instagram posting, shortly after The Fate of the Furious began its Atlanta filming schedule. Dwayne shared a photo of himself in a scene, captioning the image with a long tirade in which he called his male co-stars “chicken sh**” and “candy a**es.”
While Dwayne didn’t call out Vin Diesel by name, it soon became apparent that Diesel was the target of the rant. From there, the feud escalated and became more public, leading to the current state of affairs between Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and Universal Pictures.
The Fate of the Furious opens in theaters on April 14.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]