Actor Paul Walker may be synonymous with the Fast & Furious franchise now, but there was a time when he was hesitant about returning to the series. After appearing in the first and second entries, Walker was asked to return for the fourth instalment, almost a decade after the series’ first film.
He was sceptical. According to a 2015 Los Angeles Times article, the actor wondered if the movies even had a fanbase anymore, and wanted to focus on fatherhood. “I thought it was stale,” he said. “They were talking about my involvement with the fourth one and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? Really?’”
The actor added, “Obviously, we made the first one that catered to pop culture and a youth-driven audience. But trends shift overnight with that audience. Nine years later, I really questioned if there was even an audience anymore.”
Producer Neal Moritz couldn’t convince the actor to come back, the report said, and so he asked Vin Diesel to give him a call. Diesel pitched it to Walker as their last film in the series. “So I thought: ‘Why not?’” Walker said. “He wanted to concentrate on fatherhood as well as other pursuits, such as working with wildlife and running his charity. But he eventually signed on,” the report said.
But the fourth Fast & Furious paved the way for a new beginning for the series. The films became global phenomenons, raking in million and then billions of dollars at the box office. The actor died in a car crash in 2015, while the seventh film in the series was still in production. The ninth instalment is set to release in 2021.
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