Kurt Russell has played his share of tough guys and gear-heads – in movies like Death Proof and the recent festival indie The Art of the Steal – so he was always a logical target for the ever-expanding Fast and Furious franchise. Last September, Vin Diesel broke the news that Russell was on board for Fast and Furious 7, and Paul Walker later told MTV News that Russell would play a “father-figure” type to his character, Brian O’Conner, and Diesel’s Dom Toretto.
Of course, Walker’s tragic and untimely death, from a high-speed car accident, was a giant blow to those who knew him, including Russell. “That was a terrific guy,” says Russell. “I just met him on the [movie] and I was just very struck by how similar our lives are and how we looked at life. All the things he did outside of acting that he really enjoyed were similar to the things that I like to do. He was a hell of a good guy.”
Universal suspended production and is currently reconsidering ways to complete the movie for its April 2015 release date. “I’m waiting to hear what we’re going to do and how that’s going to go forward,” says Russell, who soon heads to the Sundance Film Festival, where his extended family has several projects being showcased. “At the time, we were talking about [my character] possibly going into a future episode as a sort of father-figure to Vin and Paul’s character – or possibly die in Fast and Furious 7. The character was created to go either way, and it will be interesting to see what they do now, if there’s any change in that. I don’t know if there will be. But obviously, they’re working hard on doing what they have to do to try to make that thing work. I think they’re going to gear up again in February or March, so we’ll see.”