11:12am PT by Rebecca Ford
'Fate of the Furious' to Kick-Start New Trilogy in Franchise, Vin Diesel Says
Universal surprised the CinemaCon audience by debuting The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment in Universal's hit franchise, in full Wednesday.
Star-producer Vin Diesel took the stage to talk about the franchise, which he's been a part of since the beginning. “One of the things we’re so proud of with this chapter is how much we defied expectations,” said Diesel.
A ninth and tenth installment have also already been announced.
"As the world sees this movie, they'll see how its the beginning of a new trilogy," Diesel said, adding that certain characters were brought in for this new trilogy.
The late star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash before the seventh film was released, was on the mind of Diesel as he took the stage. "Part of Paul's legacy lives through every frame that we shoot," Diesel said. "There's something beautiful about that."
Diesel said it was actually Walker who had promised an eighth chapter in the franchise, and so he has always kept that in his mind. "We never want to let him down," Diesel said to applause from the audience.
Diesel was joined onstage by director F. Gary Gray, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Kurt Russell and new addition Charlize Theron, who plays the villain.
“The last time I was on this stage we were here with Paul Walker. We move and operate in honor of our brother,” said Gibson.
The franchise has been a staple of the studio's annual presentation in recent years, with a release date for Fast & Furious 7 being announced on that very stage in 2013, as well as the release date for the eighth installment being revealed there in 2015.
The Fate of the Furious, which hits theaters on April 14, also stars Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez and Scott Eastwood.
The film sees Diesel's Dom being seduced by a woman and falling into a world of crime, betraying those closest to him.