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'Fast X' star Vin Diesel hints Brian O'Conner may return before the Fast Saga comes to an end

"I couldn't imagine this saga ending without truly saying goodbye to Brian O'Conner."

By Josh Weiss
(L-R) Paul Walker and Vin Diesel attend the world premiere of 'Fast And Furious 6'

It's been almost a decade since Brian O'Conner poignantly drove off into the sunset to the dulcet tones of Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's "See You Again." Most unfortunately, the tragic passing of actor Paul Walker necessitated that the character take a backseat to the globe-trotting action; the in-universe explanation being that he wanted to settle down and raise a family with Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster).

"That moment in 2013 when the world was struggling with his loss, the studio made a very bold and righteous and daring decision to keep Brian O'Conner alive," Fast Saga cast member/producer Vin Diesel — aka speed demon Dominic Toretto — remarked while discussing Fast X with Total Film (the magazine's April 2023 issue is now on sale). "I will give you this without spoiling anything: I couldn't imagine this saga ending without truly saying goodbye to Brian O'Conner."

Fans, of course, got a small tease of Brian's regular presence at Toretto family gatherings at the very end of F9 nearly two years ago. If a return is truly in the cards, it's probably safe to assume the filmmakers will rely on the combination of CGI and body doubles (i.e. Walker's two brothers, Caleb and Cody) utilized on Furious 7.

RELATED: 'Fast X' director Louis Leterrier teases 'apex' of Fast Saga in new behind-the-scenes featurette

"Brian's part of the universe, and I'm constantly going through every character, going through every conversation I've had with Paul, with Vin, with everybody," longtime Fast & Furious writer/director Justin Lin told SYFY WIRE in reference to the scene. "It is one of those things where, as we're developing, we're trying to find the proper and respectful way to be able to present the final chapter of the saga."

Lin — who first boarded the franchise via Tokyo Drift — co-wrote the Fast X screenplay alongside Dan Mazeau. He was also locked in to direct the penultimate outing, but decided to bow out a week into production (he remained on as a producer, however). The Transporter and Clash of the Titans alumnus Louis Leterrier was then quickly tapped to drive the project over the finish line. Per Total Film, Leterrier  ruled out a full-on return for Brian beyond some flashback footage. Still, you never know. If Tej and Roman can go to space, anything is possible.

The film's producers also include: Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, Jeff Kirschenbaum, and Samantha Vincent. Joseph M. Caracciolo, Jr., David Cain, Chris Morgan, Amanda Lewis, and Mark Bomback are executive producers.

Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Oritz), Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce), Chris "Ludacris" Bridges (Tej Parker), Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey), John Cena (Jakob Toretto), Jason Statham (Deckard Shaw), Sung Kang (Han Lue), Alan Ritchson (TBD), Daniela Melchior (TBD), Scott Eastwood (Little Nobody), Helen Mirren (Magdalene Shaw), Charlize Theron (Cipher), Brie Larson (the mysterious Tess), Rita Moreno (Dom's mother), and Leo Abelo Perry (Dom's son), round out the talented ensemble.

Fast X zooms onto the big screen Friday, May 19. Tickets are on sale now! Universal Pictures has yet to announce an official release date for the eleventh and final chapter in the F&F canon, though it seems likely Leterrier will return as director.

Relive a portion of the Fast Saga with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Furious 7 — both of which are streaming on Peacock.