The film is already doing blockbuster business overseas where it debuted in 8 markets with $162.4 million worldwide ahead of its June 25 opening in the U.S.
On Sunday, Diesel posted a photo of him and his former costar, shared by Walker’s daughter (and Diesel’s goddaughter), Meadow Walker, writing: “Weeks away from the F9 release… in preproduction for the finale that starts only months from now… @meadowwalker sends me this image and tells me how happy the photo makes her feel. Naturally, one gets filled with emotion, purpose and ultimately gratitude. Eternal brotherhood is a blessing beyond words. Hope to make you proud… All love, Always.”
Meadow, 22, has remained close to Diesel, 53, and his family, since her father died in a single-car crash in November 2013. He was 40 years old.
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker
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“Family, forever,” Meadow wrote in the caption.
Diesel has also treated Meadow like one of his own over the years. “I could say that I am so proud of the person you are becoming … but the truth is I have always been proud of you,” he wrote on Instagram in 2019, celebrating her 21st birthday.
“Happy Birthday Meadow!” he continued in the caption. “I know it’s your 21st and you wanted to go big in Japan, but the family has a cake waiting for you when you get home, so hurry. Love you kid. Uncle Vin.”
Paul starred in six of the first seven Fast & Furious movies, five of which he appeared in with Diesel. His brothers Cody and Caleb stood in for him after his death to finish filming Furious 7, which featured the Golden Globe- and Grammy-nominated “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, recorded as a tribute to the late star.
F9 sees Diesel return as Dominic Toretto, who’s leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and his son, Brian. But Dom’s peaceful life is soon upended with the appearance of his estranged brother Jakob Toretto, played by John Cena.