Fast X’s Vin Diesel Reflects On Paul Walker’s Legacy And Reveals A Character That Was Nearly Excluded From The Upcoming Movie

Vin Diesel smirking in F9
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

For a long time, the Fast & Furious had two main leads: Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor and Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto, with their life journeys intersecting in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious. Sadly, Walker passed in 2013, and Furious 7 marked his character’s last appearance in the franchise (excluding him driving up at the end of F9). Diesel is still going strong as Dom in the main Fast & Furious film series, and with the now-officially-titled Fast X beginning principal photography, he’s reflecting on Walker’s legacy, as well as revealed a character who was almost excluded from what was previously known as Fast & Furious 10.

Starting with Paul Walker, it’s been almost a full decade since he died from injuries sustained in a car crash. Vin Diesel has paid tribute to Walker numerous times over the years, both in public and on social media, and in this latest reflection that he shared on Instagram, Diesel talked about how he continues to honor both Walker and his family, saying:

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t want to turn back time, talk Pablo out of heading back to LA that thanksgiving weekend… every Fast film I make must at the core always honor my brother Pablo. In the real world, I will always look after his family, because in the real world he is family. When his daughter asked me to walk her down the isle… I tear up, and then do it with pride and and honor… when his mother asks me to bring Brian back to the screen… well, I don’t have to tell you how serious I take that. Fast could never have been here without the profound love and brotherhood between Dom and Brian, established in 2001.

Paul Walker died in the middle of Furious 7’s production, but thanks to digital wizardry and Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, standing in for him, the production was able to bring Brian O’Connor’s story to a close. But as Vin Diesel made clear and many other occasions, he and Walker were more than just co-workers; they formed a brotherly bond during their time together on the Fast & Furious movies. So while Walker is no longer with us, Diesel is still close with the Walker family, which includes, as he mentioned, walking Meadow Walker down the aisle at her wedding.

Whether visual effects will be used again to insert Brian O’Connor back into the main Fast & Furious film series before it concludes remains to be seen. However, as far as Fast X is concerned, Vin Diesel has confirmed that Jordana Brewster’s Mia Toretto, who’s also been part of the Fast & Furious franchise since the beginning, will be back, though that wasn’t always the case. It turns out there was a version of the upcoming movie’s script that didn’t include Mia, but we have Diesel’s daughter to thank for changing that. The actor explained:

Side note, you will never believe who corrected the very important role of Mia… my daughter, the Alpha Angel, who told the director very plainly and honestly ‘NO MIA NO FAST 10!’ haha. The irony, is that the day she was born I was filming with Jordanna and Pablo and it was Jordanna who I first told… profound right?

After sitting out The Fate of the Furious, Jordana Brewster reprised Mia for F9, which saw her and Dom reuniting with their estranged brother, John Cena’s Jakob Toretto. It hasn’t been revealed yet if Cena will be back for Fast X, but regardless, with the main Fast & Furious film series winding down, I imagine many fans would have found it weird if Mia hadn’t been present. Luckily for them, Diesel’s oldest daughter, Hania Riley (whom he’s nicknamed Alpha Angel), convinced director Justin Lin to alter course, and now Brewster will reunite with Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Charlize Theron and Michael Rooker, as well as work with newcomers Jason Momoa, Daniela Melchior and Brie Larson.

Fast X races into theaters on May 19, 2023. For those who missed out on seeing F9 last year, it can be streamed with an HBO Max subscription.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.