Fast & Furious director Justin Lin has affirmed that fans will see a brief look at Paul Walker’s character Brian O’Conner in Fast 9.
Brian, who was played by Paul Walker until his tragic death in 2013, can be seen showing up in the most recent trailer for the forthcoming Fast & Furious film.
Uncovering that that Brian O’Conner is “still alive” in the Fast universe is “very impactful and very important”, Justin Lin disclosed to Variety that the film’s place in the series implies there is scope to include a few characters.
“When we talk about Fast 9, this is the first time for me creatively approaching it not as just the one film. In the past, I’ve always felt like, we’re lucky enough to do one, let’s do everything we can. But Vin [Diesel] finally talked me into it, you know, when I came back, he’s like, ‘Well, let’s think about it as a final chapter,'” Lin explained.
“So Fast 9 is really the beginning of the final chapter of the saga. So in doing that I think there’s a lot of room to really place our characters, and Brian obviously is a big part of the universe still.”
The director proceeded to concede that he feels it would be more proper for the Fast & Furious movies to show Paul Walker’s character, instead of simply refer to his off-screen presence through dialogue.
“I want to always be very respectful and how we present that,” Lin added. “I think that [in] Nine, you will feel the presence of Brian, for sure.”