The ending of Furious 7, the seventh installment in the blockbuster Fast & Furious franchise, might be the "best moment in cinematic history," according to star and producer Vin Diesel. The James Wan-directed blockbuster that grossed $1.516 billion worldwide was the last Fast & Furious to star Paul Walker and released posthumously after the star died in a car accident in November 2013. Fast & Furious filmmakers used Walker's brothers, Caleb and Cody, as stand-ins, as well as visual effects from Weta Digital to complete Walker's role as Brian O'Conner in Furious 7, which ended with brother-in-law Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his tight-knit crew bidding farewell to retired family man Brian.
"It was a very tough moment," Diesel told NME of the film's ending scene. "But there was some solace in the fact that we were able to protect from the natural whim of a producer or anyone to say, 'Well now you're going to go avenge the character,' and use it as a plot and we were able to do something so beautiful and so classy."
Furious 7 ended with Dom and Brian riding together one last time, set to "See You Again," the Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth song crafted exclusively for the movie in honor of Walker.
The scene "might be the best moment in cinematic history. Not just in my career but in cinematic history," Diesel said. "Men around the world, everyone was able to cry, but men around the planet for the first time in history were able to cry together."
The song made a comeback in the first trailer for Fast & Furious 9, recreated as an instrumental version playing over the slowed down domestic life of Dom and wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez).
"It was important because as the Fast family we take a lot of pride in the journey," director Justin Lin previously told Entertainment Weekly when asked to explain the new rendition of the song and its appearance in F9. "In front of the camera you're seeing our characters age, and behind the camera we're all growing together, we started families, all of our kids are growing up together."
"And so I really thought it was important to acknowledge that with Dom, Letty, and little Brian," Lin continued of Dom's son named in Brian's honor. "And to be able to acknowledge that in a big action franchise, I thought it was important to connect that to other pieces of the family."
On March 12, Universal Pictures announced Fast & Furious 9 has been delayed from its original May 22 release date. It will now open domestically April 2, 2021.