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There are so many intriguing mysteries ahead in Fast and Furious 9 ... and we'll have to wait for answers on all of them. Despite Vin Diesel's insistence that F9 would show up in theaters this May, Universal moved the film a full year to April 2021. That may also be how long we have to wait for the official answer on the Brian O'Conner rumor. Is Paul Walker's character returning? Diesel added fuel to the rumor fire with a new Paul Walker post.
As Fast fans know, actor Paul Walker died on November 30, 2013 at age 40, but the character of Brian O'Conner is still alive. Walker's role in Furious 7 was finished with help from his brothers Cody and Caleb as stand-ins. Brian and Mia Toretto have two children together, and since Mia actress Jordana Brewster was confirmed to be returning for F9 -- after skipping Fast 8, aka The Fate of the Furious -- it led fans to wonder if Brian would return in some fashion as well.
Add to that, Paul Walker's brother Cody Walker visited the Fast and Furious 9 set and Vin Diesel shared a photo with him. Was he just there to visit or there in an official capacity, meaning to bring back Brian through stand-ins, VFX, or whatever means?
With that in mind, check out Vin Diesel's March 13, 2020 post with Pablo -- his name for Paul Walker:
Was that a random throwback memory or a hint that Paul Walker's Brian will be coming back again? F9's new release date is actually taking the spot Fast franchise producer Vin Diesel initially gave to Fast 10. That's supposed to be the final movie in the series, and it has special meaning to Diesel. It currently has no new release date. And since they haven't even filmed it yet, it may be a while.
If the character of Brian O'Conner doesn't appear in F9 after all, you have to imagine they'll find a way to add him to Fast 10, especially if it is the final movie in the saga. There are any number of ways they could do that tastefully, especially if he's just in shadow or seen from the back. They don't have to make it creepy. Paul Walker had every intention of continuing with the Fast franchise, and even though we can't know exactly what he'd want, the people closest to him know how much he loved the Fast Family.
Vin Diesel said Fast and Furious 9 was the longest shoot of his career. Now they have plenty of time to tweak it if they want to make changes in the next year. On that note, I'm still hoping that rumor about Ben Stiller -- which Ben Stiller later denied -- can be made true by adding him in the next year. Diesel did recently say a big surprise cameo was coming, so if it isn't Stiller maybe it's the Oscar-winner Diesel said he wanted most for the Fast franchise.
F9 is currently scheduled for release on April 2, 2021. Maybe by then they'll decide to rename it Fast 9 or Fast and Furious 9 or F9: Justice For Han.