Scott Eastwood posted a photo to Instagram today that showed him on the set of Fast 8, the first installment in the Fast & Furious franchise since the tragic loss of Paul Walker. In any other circumstance, I would have loved this announcement. Let’s face it: Eastwood is great eye candy. But he’s not Paul Walker, and I don’t know if I’m on board.
Fast & Furious is Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. The success of the whole franchise happened because of the chemistry between the two stars. It’s impossible to replace Walker, and I thought the producers knew that. But they chose to cast Eastwood, who looks vaguely similar to Walker, so maybe they didn’t. Maybe they were hoping we would just transfer our affection to him?
I’m sure Eastwood will do a good job with his part in the movie. And the rest of the gang we’ve all grown to love will be back, including Tyrese, Ludacris and The Rock. But it’s still not Walker. It just doesn’t feel the same. I guess if they had to pick a new leading man, I wanted him to be the exact opposite of Walker, so we weren’t reminded of what we lost from the film.
I will admit, however, that I didn’t have faith in the franchise when they said they were going to finish the Furious 7 movie without Walker, and they all blew me away. The ending and the entire story were exactly what the fans and Walker deserved. The writers are talented and passionate about their franchise, so Eastwood must be the right choice. He just isn’t Walker.
Have I mentioned that?
It does help that the cast and crew seem to be embracing Eastwood as part of the team. He wrote that they “couldn’t be more welcoming.” And they all looked to be having a great time. Hopefully, that means there’s a whole new energy on set, and that Eastwood will bring a different life to the film than Walker did.
Only time will tell. But in the meantime, I’m going to spend tonight missing Walker all over again.