No, this isn't a late April Fools' Day joke.
On the one hand we figured we were past this but the Hollywood machine is what it is and what it isn't. That said, we're learning of a new report from Darkhorizons, which picked the story up from an Entertainment Tonight interview with Caleb Walker, the late Paul Walker's brother, that the Brian O'Connor character may return in future installments of the "Furious" franchise. No joke. Caleb Walker told ET that during the production of "Furious 7" the idea came up that he would take over the part at some point.
However, that won't happen in the upcoming "Furious 8," due on April 14, 2017. He told ET that he had "a phone call with Vin (Diesel) for about an hour and we really discussed this a while back. He wanted (our) blessing." Specifically, Diesel wanted to know whether it'd "be acceptable to maybe bring Paul's character back...to really kind of let his fans know he's still out there.Universal wants to make sure to be respectful of Paul and his image too, and his family." Nothing is official yet but hey, who knows, perhaps there'll be some surprise ending that'll hint at O'Connor's return in "Furious 9." Remember, "Furious 8" will launch a new trilogy in the series that, supposedly, will wrap up the entire franchise (until the inevitable spin-offs arrive).