Despite his many other screen credits, Paul Walker’s legacy as an actor will largely be defined by the front-and-center role he played as one of the twin anchors of the Fast and the Furious franchise. Its production was marked by studio interference and internal squabbles, and as Walker told Kaufman in 2011, he initially had no interest in returning for the unlikely fourth installment when Universal pitched it to him.
The Fast and the Furious series has earned well over $2 billion at the box office (a total it is furiously adding to with the record-breaking release of Furious 7), and the franchise has earned plenty of additional dough from product placement. The car brands are, of course, the most obvious — if it’s a model/make of a sports car that can be souped-up, it has been in a Fast and Furious movie, though the franchise has a special place for Dodge Chargers and Mitsubishis. Panasonic: The series wasted no time in revealing its willingness to show a little brand: Just 23 seconds into 2001’s The Fast and the Furious we see a truck-full of Panasonic electronics.
Some symbols have endured through the Fast and Furious franchise: Dominic Toretto’s cross pendant. The two-story craftsman bungalow was the spot where Dom (Vin Diesel) first shared a Corona with Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker).
It has been nearly 15 years since Rob Cohen helmed the surprise international hit The Fast and the Furious, about a group of close-knit, law-flouting street racers. While Cohen didn’t direct the subsequent sequels, he has remained in contact with the main cast, including directing Fast patriarch Vin Diesel in the 2002 extreme-sports action flick XXX. More recently, Cohen directed Jennifer Lopez in the successful low-budget thriller The Boy Next Door, still in theaters, and has other projects in the pipeline.
Vin Diesel can’t get the last moments he spent with Paul Walker out of his head. The script that night called for a dangerous stunt in which Diesel’s character, Dom Toretto, drives into certain danger, zooming headfirst in order to save his FF family. The scene was so real and dangerous, Diesel’s own life flashed before his eyes — and it made him think of what might happen to his best friend should a stunt go awry and really kill him.
Never shy about his affection for the late Paul Walker — whom he fondly calls “Pablo” — Vin Diesel took to Facebook Tuesday to remember his Fast & Furious co-star, who died late last year. Along with his note, Diesel shared a new still photo from the film of him and Walker standing in a garage and looking solemn — a shot seemingly connected to a previously disclosed funeral scene from the film, which opens next year. The second photo that Diesel shared on Tuesday shows him as Torretto, wrapping his fists in tape.