Fast and Furious 7
The late Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Michelle RodriguezUniversal

Over the past few months, rumours around the Fast and Furious franchise have been doing the rounds suggesting that Paul Walker may appear on the big screen again via the same technology that was used to recreate a CGI version of him in Fast and Furious 7.

But according to Enstars, all these reports are creating false speculation. NBC Universal Vice-Chairman Ron Meyer confirmed that Walker will not be seen in the upcoming eighth instalment.

"Paul won't be in it, but he'll be represented in some form or another but whether his image is in it, I can't tell you yet, but he won't be in the film as a performer, as an actor, the way we did it last time," Meyer told Variety in a recent interview. "It will still be Fast and Furious, it will just be without Paul."

Meanwhile, it looks like Universal is planning to expand their successful Fast and Furious franchise by taking the Marvel and Disney route. While it's not official yet, studio executives and Vin Diesel have hinted at the possibility of branching out into spin-offs and prequels set within the franchise.

"We've written out story lines for various characters," Diesel told Variety last month. "We've been playing with it for a long time. It's a very rich property and we're committed to treating it with a lot of class."

Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley confirmed that talks were taking place about ways to broaden the series' reach. "We're certainly in conversations about how we can expand the franchise now," said Langley. "It's an ensemble cast and there's room to bring characters in and out."

Furious 8 is slated to release on 14 April 2017. Apart from Diesel, the other regular cast members who have signed on for the film include Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Michelle Rodriguez and Dwayne Johnson. Jason Statam who was the main villain in Furious 7 will reprise his role in the upcoming sequel. The film will be directed by F. Gary Gray and is reportedly set in New York City.