'I always feel like he’s looking down on us so we didn’t want to let him down'

By Samantha Highfill
March 29, 2017 at 02:54 PM EDT

On Wednesday, CinemaCon attendees were treated to an early screening of the upcoming eighth Fast and Furious film, The Fate of the Furious. They were also treated to a touching speech from Fast frontman Vin Diesel, who reportedly paid tribute to the late Paul Walker, who died in 2013. The Fate of the Furious marks the first full Fast film that Walker was not a part of filming.

According to Variety, Diesel revealed that it was Walker who wanted to do an eighth film, which was a central reason they moved forward in his absence. “It was Paul Walker who promised eight,” Diesel said. “It played over and over again in my brain.”

Diesel went on to say, “Part of Paul’s legacy lives through every frame that we shoot. You are reminded of this angel that was so integral to this concept of brotherhood for our millennium. There’s something beautiful about that. There’s something celebratory about that.”

Diesel then reportedly teared up before adding,”I always feel like he’s looking down on us so we didn’t want to let him down.”

The Fate of the Furious, which kicks off a new trilogy in the long-running franchise, hits theaters on April 14.

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