Vin Diesel: Furious 7 Will Win Best Picture at the Oscars

Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 7
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 7 Scott Garfield/Universal

Going for gold! After more than a year of anticipation — made bittersweet by the November 2013 death of Paul WalkerFurious 7 will finally hit theaters next week, and the movie's star Vin Diesel is confident the action flick will win big in awards season.

"Universal is going to have the biggest movie in history with this movie," Diesel, 47, told Variety in a new interview about the flick. "It will probably win Best Picture at the Oscars, unless the Oscars don’t want to be relevant ever."

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Lest he leave any doubt, the franchise star asserted once more, "This will win Best Picture. There is nothing that will ever come close to the power of this thing."

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While the six previous Fast and Furious movies have been entirely absent from the Academy Award nominations, Diesel's prediction may not be completely out of the question. Furious 7 screened early at this month's South by Southwest film festival to largely positive reviews from critics, who wrote the latest installment did the late Walker "proud."

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"We were successful in one-upping the action sequences, and adding an interesting dynamic to the world," Diesel continued to Variety of Furious 7's evolution from the earlier franchise films. "But what the world won't anticipate is how emotionally powerful the movie is. The head of the studio, Ron Meyer, often said when Fast 5 or Fast 6 came out, 'If there was no number attached to these movies, they would be contenders for Best Picture.' And when people see Furious 7, they are going to agree."

Diesel revealed earlier this week that he is honoring his former costar Walker in one big, very personal way. "I named her Pauline," he told the Today show of his newborn baby girl, paying tribute to the actor, who died at the age of 40 after a tragic car crash. "There's no other person that I was thinking about as I was cutting this umbilical cord. I just thought… I knew he was there and it felt like, you know, a way to keep his memory a part of my family and a part of my world."

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