Nicholas Sparks fans now have a reason to check out the "Fast & Furious" franchise: Scott Eastwood of "The Longest Ride" has been cast in "F8," the eighth installment of the action extravaganza.
"Kurt Russell's Mr. Nobody has a new protégé. Welcome Scott Eastwood to the Fast family in our next film," the franchise said on its Facebook page Monday.
In an Instagram post that followed, the 30-year-old son of Dirty Harry bubbled with excitement as he sketched out his character, noting "I can't say too much," and enthused about getting to work with Russel, who joined the crew as Mr. Nobody in "Furious 7."
"Kurt was a total childhood hero of mine growing up. Very much looking forward to learning a thing or two from such an original and cool guy," Eastwood wrote.
He also mentioned his relationship with the late Paul Walker, who died in December 2013 and was seen posthumously in "Furious 7."
"Paul was a close friend of mine. We surfed together, traveled together, and he was a huge role model and influencing figure in my life when I was younger. He still is," Eastwood wrote. "He was an older brother to me. For me to be able to add to the F&F story, Paul's story, and the FAST family is like a dream come true."
Eastwood expressed gratitude and made a promise: "Vin - thank you for the support and the insight," he wrote. "Paul - I am going to make you proud."
Those involved with "F&F" consider themselves a family — last year Vin Diesel named his daughter Pauline to honor Walker's memory — and the family is growing quickly. The casting of "Mad Max" star Charlize Theron was announced last week; she'll play not merely a villain but the "greatest adversary" the crew has ever faced.
"It's hard to put into words how excited I am for the next Fast & Furious," Eastwood wrote. "To me, the series is so much more than just a franchise. It’s a legacy. These great actors who have been in it together for so long have become a family. I absolutely can’t wait to join it."
"F8" is slated to be released in April 2017.
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