This weekend, the Fast and the Furious films made a loud comeback as the franchise’s eighth installment raced into theaters. The Fate of the Furious is always breaking all kinds of global box-office records, and domestic fans are just as eager to see Vin Diesel’s latest action flick than ever before. However, for longtime fans of the franchise, the Fate of the Furious marks a bittersweet moment. The new film is the first to exclude Paul Walker’s character Brian O’Connor, and audiences are still reeling from the loss. The actor’s tragic death prior to the release of Furious 7 was a shocking ordeal for Hollywood as a whole, but the Fast and the Furious family is not one to leave loved ones in the dust.
As such, the Fate of the Furious did feature a poignant nod to Brian as a way of highlighting the character’s important legacy with leads such as Dom. Now, the one of the writers on the new film is speaking out about the nod, and Chris Morgan said the reference was made out of respect.
If you have seen the Fate of the Furious, then you know how Brian makes his way back into the film’s storyline. Furious 7 ended with the former cop leaving his high-octane life behind as he wanted to raise his family peacefully. Brian already had one child with Mia, and they had another on the way. However, after Dom apparently goes dark side in the Fate of the Furious, Roman and Hobbs say they should call in Brian to help figure out why their friend turned. However, Letty shuts the suggestion down firmly and stresses that Brian needs to enjoy his new life; The team could handle this shift on their own.
Speaking with Collider about the namedrop, Morgan said Brain needed to be mention thanks to his history with Dom.
“It’s so dramatic for the characters that at some point they would definitely turn to each other and say, ‘Oh my God, we gotta tell Brian, we gotta tell Mia. Something is going on with Dom, we don’t know what it is’ So I think from a practical point of view for the characters you needed to address it. For the audience, and just as a fan as the writer on it, I also wanted to have one moment where we were able to — specifically at the beat at the end of the film — say to the audience, ‘We’re thinking of him too’ in a respectful sort of way.”
The film’s final nod to Brian’s character comes at the end. After discovering he has fathered a child with Elena Neves, Dom is asked to give the child a name from his ex-lover. After thinking about his options, Dom chooses to name his son Brian, and audiences were left feeling rather emotional over the homage.
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Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game — and the rest of the crew has been exonerated — the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before.
From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, our elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage…and to bring home the man who made them a family.
For Fast and the Furious, Vin Diesel is joined by a returning all-star cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell. In addition to Theron, the series welcomes newcomers Scott Eastwood and Oscar winner Helen Mirren. The film is directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) and produced by returning producers Neal H. Moritz, Michael Fottrell and Diesel.