Alright, this is some food for thought that I had earlier today after watching the Transformers: Age of Extinction trailer. The Fast & Furious series has been a long time guilty pleasure of mine ever since my dad ended up picking the original up on DVD many years ago. Vin Diesel is easily my favorite action star (who can forget The Pacifier), and the rest of the F&F cast are perfect fits for what the movie franchise is. Sadly, as everyone knows, staple member of the F&F team, Paul Walker, passed away this past November. This leaves a big hole in the cast with the second main character forever absent – sigh… R.I.P.
So where does the series go from here? We know that F&F 7 is moving forward pretty much on schedule, and that the writers are going to create an honorable sendoff for Brian O’Conner. Also, I would imagine that once you find a reason to remove Brian from the picture, that means his wife, Mia (Jordana Brewster), will also be written out because they have a family and all. Now, if they decide to write in the death of Brian O’Conner, then that last point is irrelevant.
Either way, the cast is losing 1-2 pivotal members.
So now we enter into speculation going forward. Do you just keep the team as is? Vin Diesel is obviously your lead, and The Rock has become a growing star cast member as well; plus you still have Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, and Ludacris.
Going forward I have two ideas to fill out the cast. One way more likely than the other.
Option #1: Lucas Black
This is the most likely scenario. Lucas Black, who plays Sean Boswell, the lead character in Fast & Furious 3: Tokyo Drift. The seventh installment of this series finally brings Tokyo Drift fully into the continuity. I honestly think that is my second or third favorite F&F movie behind the originals because of how different it is. Either way, Han is dead and they altered the plot so that Ian Shaw (Owen’s brother) is the one who does the deed. This puts a reason behind Vin’s cameo at the end of Tokyo Drift, and Sean pretty much has to be brought onto the team.
Sean is the perfect character to fill the shoes of Brian O’Conner; he’s a previously established character, is likable, knows his cars, and isn’t afraid to push the limit with his driving or risk taking. He is the only one who, on screen, built a relationship with Han, and also is the current DK (drift king), so he knows the city and probably has the connections to find Ian Shaw.
I always expected Sean’s character to join the team when it was revealed Fast 7 would connect with Tokyo Drift, but it actually works out really well to have this character already returning to the series and could easily fill the void going forward.
I think this is the most likely option, and I would definitely be on board with it. Sean is a fun character, and I’m pretty pumped to return to Tokyo where I think he will be a very important character, so I hope they keep him on in the future.
Option #2: Introduce a New Actor into the Series
This is much less likely, but I think still a possibility. The question then is; who do they add to the cast?
Well, I have the answer right here…
Yes, Marky Mark Wahlberg.
The idea came to me after how much I’ve been talking about him with Transformers 4.
He’s perfect; just as jacked as Vin and The Rock, while also being another action star. Mark Wahlberg is awesome and can be serious or funny, not to mention he’s already worked with The Rock on Pain and Gain as well as briefly during The Other Guys.
We’ve seen him drive fast cars before and take on plenty of serious roles, hell, just go watch the Transformers: Age of Extinction trailer and tell me he wouldn’t be perfect. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to immediately replace Paul Walker, but I’m thinking maybe introduce him in the upcoming movie or down the road somewhere. Hell, they could make him some former military or police buddy of Hobbs’s, problem solved.
Honestly, in my perfect world, Lucas Black and Mark Wahlberg would both be added into the series to fill these two open spaces. Obviously, the writers have been thrown into an unfortunate mess that can’t be any fun trying to rewrite. I highly doubt they are considering adding a new character when they still have to make sure that the plot still works out for Fast 7, which is why increasing Sean’s role would be way more plausible.
I’m still super sad about Paul Walker’s passing, and we don’t even know how many more films will be in this franchise; however, a man can dream, and maybe someday…. someday….I will have my dreams come true, and get Vin, The Rock, and Marky Mark in an action packed Fast & Furious movie.