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Before last year, nobody would've ever believed that a Fast & Furious movie could make them cry. That all changed in the final moments of Furious 7 as we bid farewell to a series mainstay. The late Paul Walker's Brian O'Conner drove off into the sunset, and effectively ended an era in the franchise's history. He's no longer a central member of Dom Toretto's crew, but could he possibly return for a cameo at some point? Apparently it's not outside the realm of possibility. Caleb Walker, Paul's brother who helped them film the missing footage for Furious 7, explained:
I had a phone call with Vin for about an hour and we really discussed this a while back. He wanted [our] blessing. [Diesel asked if it] would be acceptable to maybe bring Paul's character back... to really kind of let his fans know he's still out there.
Paul Walker's brothers, Caleb and Cody, recently spoke to ET about their brother's death, as well as the impact that Paul's passing had on the Fast & Furious franchise. Although the last entry in the series sent Paul Walker's Brian O'Conner off in an incredibly respectful (and seemingly permanent) way, Caleb Walker revealed that Vin Diesel has not ruled out the possibility of bringing O'Conner back at some point. Furious 7 used both living Walker brothers (and a healthy dose of CGI) to help depict Paul's character, so from a technical standpoint its a feasible option.
Caleb and Cody Walker don't necessarily seem opposed to the idea, either. They make it very clear that Vin Diesel and Universal have nothing but respect for Paul Walker's legacy, and they wouldn't want to do anything to compromise that image. A cameo such as this would only occur if every party involved agreed to it.
In this writer's humble opinion, this seems like a downright terrible idea. The Fast & Furious franchise managed to defy all of the odds and retire Brian O'Conner perfectly. Bringing him back in any capacity could undo the emotional impact of Furious 7, and tarnish the good work done by the cast and crew. Jordana Brewster has already stated that her character (O'Conner's wife, Mia Toretto) will not appear in the series in the foreseeable future, so an actual appearance by O'Conner himself just doesn't seem necessary.
Referencing Brian O'Conner in a future film is one thing, but actually finding a way to show the character to audiences takes it a little too far. So many great characters have been introduced in the last few films, and more will arrive with the premiere of Fast 8. It might be best to leave some things in the past.
Whether or not Paul Walker will actually return to the franchise that made him a household name remains a mystery, but the Fast & Furious series most certainly will continue to live on. Fast 8 will hit theaters next spring on April 14, 2017; we will bring you all of the latest and greatest details related to the project as more information becomes available to us.