'Fast and Furious 8' news: Paul Walker won't feature in next movie, NBC Universal Exec confirms

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It looks like it is really on for the eighth installment of the “Fast and Furious” saga as the project has officially been green lit.

A couple of weeks just after “Fast and Furious 7” hit the theaters earlier this year, a couple of reports regarding its successor already started swirling around the Internet. This has been an especially tricky topic given that the last film from the series had experience major hurdles because of the untimely death of Paul Walker. The actor was one of the main leads of the franchise. He played Bryan O’Connor, the trustee partner of Vin Diesel’s Dominic Torretto.

For a while, fans were not sure whether the film would push through as Walker’s fatal accident happened with only a few more scenes left to tie up the whole movie. However, it eventually went back to production with the blessing and help of Walker’s family. Not only was Director Justin Lin able to get through finishing the movie, they were also able to give a fitting send off to Walker and his character.

Now that the team is once again in the pre-production process, followers of the franchise are curious on how they will able to pull off another one with no Walker in it. As confirmed by NBC Universal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer in an interview with Variety, “I can’t tell you yet, but he won’t be in the film as a performer, as an actor, the way we did it last time. It will still be ‘Fast and Furious,’ it will just be without Paul.”

On the other hand, Jason Statham will be returning in the next movie as Ian Shaw. Statham played the main villain of the “Ride or Die” group in “Furious 7,” and while it is unconfirmed yet if he will still be the main character on the other side, fans can expect a lot of action stunts and death defying stunts with the British actor on board.

“Fast and Furious 8” has a tentative release date of April 2017.