The F. Gary Gray-directed “Fast 8” is racing towards its final stretch of filming, and marks the first film in the franchise to be made without series regular Paul Walker who died in an accident during the production of the previous entry.
Fellow series star Michelle Rodriguez spoke with EW recently and says that while the cast has come together in a big way in the wake of Walker’s tragic death, the hole left behind will never truly be filled:
“Paul’s the heart of it, he’s the guy who really loved the genre, he loved that lifestyle. And not having that love affair with cars and that lifestyle, it removed a certain aspect of the soul of the franchise and it hurts all of us and we all know it.”
That said, all the cast are aware that the series has a big fanbase and the films have grown on to become something bigger than any one person or country:
“We got to keep it street for the world – it’s a global affair now… We’re living in a realm where there aren’t any franchises outside of hero movies and sci-fi that actually address the lack of multiculturalism. At that scale you don’t see a $150-million-budgeted film with a Latin person, a black person, an Asian person. if we’re not willing to do it for ourselves, and we’re not just willing to do it for the money, then we need another reason – and that’s our reason… we’re filling a gap in the market that nobody else is filling.”
“Fast 8” is set to release its first trailer in December ahead of opening in cinemas worldwide on April 14th 2017.