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Vin Diesel Believes John Cena Was Sent To F9 By Late Paul Walker

Vin Diesel believes that his late co-star Paul Walker had a hand in sending John Cena to join the Fast & Furious 9 cast as his brother Jakob. Walker and Diesel had a close bond, starring in several franchise installments together. Walker was filming Furious 7 when he died in a car crash in 2013, but Walker's spirit lingers over the film series to this day. His character Brian O'Connor is still alive in F9, something director Justin Lin says will be addressed at some point down the line.

Diesel and Walker were the original protagonists of the Fast & Furious franchise. Their characters Dom Toretto and Brian O'Conner were an unlikely pair who became friends; a street racing titan and an undercover LAPD police officer addicted to death-defying adrenaline rushes. The characters would go on to become like family, and that bond would translate off-camera. Upon the birth of his daughter in 2015, Diesel would name his Pauline in honor of his close friend and longtime co-star. And while prepping F9, Diesel believes Walker had a hand in rounding out the supporting cast.

Related: Fast & Furious: Everything From The Original Movie's Script That Was Changed

When it came time to cast the role of Jakob, Diesel admitted the search gave him some anxiety for several reasons before settling on Cena. In an interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Diesel explained to Clarkson he felt Walker had a hand in helping ease his mind.

"Obviously, I'm multicultural. You could've cast anybody to be my brother. For two months before I went into filming, I created a shrine where I could do all the combat training, all the stunts and I had the Charger there to simulate the garage to get into the Dom state of mind. Now the idea of the brother worked great on paper, but when the time came to cast it, anxiety. Who could you cast to be Dom's brother and 20 years into the game? The audience knows our mythology so much. [Cena] comes into the shrine one morning, and I had this strange feeling...that Paul Walker had sent him."

This anecdote is another illustration of Diesel's close relationship with Walker, as he believes his late friend had something to do with Cena's casting. That Diesel would bring Walker up with regard to Cena joining F9 indicates he's very confident Cena was the best choice for the role and will add a new layer to the Fast and Furious franchise. Audiences are excited to see Cena and Diesel's chemistry in the film, which pits brother against brother. Their dynamic promises to be a key source of tension and drama, revealing secrets of his and Dom's turbulent pastF9 has the potential to challenge themes of family and loyalty that is synonymous with the franchise.

The intensity between the Fast & Furious actors will define how the franchise moves forward, particularly if Cena is brought back for the film's two final installments, Fast 10 and Fast 11. The nature of their on-camera relationship caused the actors to go to some pretty dark places to get to the deeper levels necessary to further their story and create a believable relationship for devoted fans of the film series. This is a similar technique to the one used when Diesel created tension between himself and The Rock back in 2011 during Fast Five.

Next: How Fast & Furious Became The New James Bond

Source: The Kelly Clarkson Show

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