FAST & FURIOUS 7 Might Start from Scratch; Percentage of FAST & FURIOUS 6 Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Sales to Go to Walker’s Charity [UPDATED]

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Aside from the grief the folks behind Fast & Furious 7 are feeling due to Paul Walker‘s death, they’re also facing a conundrum.  As we reported earlier this week, production has been delayed as the studio, producers, and director James Wan figure out how to proceed.  According to The Wrap, one of the options they’re considering is to scrap the whole production and start over.  Filming was over halfway finished, but they hadn’t shot many of Walker’s key scenes.  While this may seem like a costly proposition for a blockbuster feature, the studio is insured and so Universal doesn’t have to worry on that front.  The larger concern is how to keep the franchise rolling while still respecting the fans and Walker’s legacy.

Hit the jump for more. [Update: Universal has released an official statement saying that production on Fast & Furious 7 has been shut down indefinitely.  Read the full statement after the jump.]

Here’s Universal’s official statement on the matter, followed by our original story:

Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul’s immediate family and our extended Fast & Furious family of cast, crew and filmmakers.   At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on Fast & Furious 7 for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise.  We are committed to keeping Fast & Furious fans informed, and we will provide further information to them when we have it.  Until then, we know they join us in mourning the passing of our dear friend Paul Walker.

fast-and-furious-7-paul-walker-vin-diesel-kurt-russellThere are multiple options and none of them are easy.  If they restart, they could cut out O’Conner entirely, which would be awkward and somewhat disrespectful.  There would have to be expository dialogue explaining his absence and it would hang over the entire picture.  Anything anyone could say would be translated as “Paul Walker died and we had to do this without him.”

Another possibility is trying to figure out how to rework the scenes Walker already shot and the scenes he had yet to shoot.  Since we don’t know the scenes he completed, we don’t know how vital they are to the story, and more importantly, we don’t know if they can find a way to keep at least some of them.  There’s also the possibility of using a body double.  Personally, I think this might be the best way to go because I think fans want to see Walker on the screen one last time.  They want to say good-bye too.

Thankfully, The Wrap reports, “Right now the conversation has veered away from the notion of using special effects to put Paul Walker’s face on someone else’s body, which is certainly possible.”  That would be awful on multiple levels.  First, the technology isn’t there yet, and it would look terrible.  Second, it would be half of a performance.  The actor wearing Walker’s face is still part of the equation.

fast-and-furious-6-paul-walkerThere’s also the problem of having a movie about street car racing, and Walker died in a fiery car crash, but there’s no way around it.  Ultimately, some audience members are going to cringe.  But they’re going to see the movie no matter what, so the only question is how to handle O’Conner’s absence/reduced role and Walker’s death tastefully.  As I said, there are no easy answers here, and I have no idea how Universal intends to make their scheduled release date, July 11th.

While the filmmakers puzzle over how to move forward (one source told The Wrap a decision is days away, and another said it will take weeks), Universal has done a good thing by donating a portion of the Fast & Furious 6 Blu-ray/DVD/Digital proceeds to Walker’s charity, Reach Out WorldWide, “which connects a network of skilled first-responders to the victims of natural disasters.”  The film will be available to own on December 10th.

Universal said in a statement, ” We keep Paul’s memory alive and honor his legacy through continued support of Reach Out WorldWide, the non-profit he founded to give hope to those who must rebuild after they have experienced natural disasters.”

If you want to donate without purchasing Fast & Furious 6, go here.

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  • Mars

    A body double is a bad idea and in poor taste. If any of the scenes he already shot were from early scenes in the film, they should try having Jordana Brewster’s character tell the others that O’Conner needed to look after his family and stay out of danger. Dom would understand because he wants his sister to have a husband and his nephew to have a father. Just get it out of the way early in the film so they can focus on the story the rest of the way through.

    • Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño

      The problem there though is that they would ABSOLUTELY need to put Brian on screen for such a scene to work on. A body double could work ONLY if they include it for a couple of shots (anyway, as other poster commented, they did some pretty nifty work with Oliver Reed in Gladiator and that was in 2000!). Still, there is the issue that in Fast 6 they faced an equally hairy situation (the characters) and Brian still went to do it. I don’t know what they could say to work around it. Still, as Matt said, there’s a no win scenario, no matter what they do, people are going to complain. Can’t envy Wan’s position right now.

      • Nate

        ”Still, there is the issue that in Fast 6 they faced an equally hairy situation (the characters) and Brian still went to do it.”
        I don’t think Brian would EVER say no to Dom. He’d always help him. He’d make sure his family was looked after first but he’d always have Dom’s back no matter what. For that reason alone I think it’s a bad idea to have Dom go it alone without Brian.
        I think the only way to make this work is by killing Brian off. Either by having Statham’s character kill him off screen and have someone mention it (which won’t have the same emotional impact as actually seeing it) or by using a body double to film a quick scene showing his death (again it might not have the same impact).
        Perhaps they could open with Brian’s death scene and reshoot Han’s funeral as a joint funeral for both characters. Statham never actually says he killed Han at the end of Fast Six, just that Dom is about to find out who he is which means he could find out after Brian dies.
        Then Dom goes to meet Lucas Black in Tokyo and says ”I lost two brothers to this guy, I won’t lose anymore!”
        And I think after Fast 7 they should end it. It just won’t be the same without Paul Walker.

      • God’s Diamond

        That’s a good idea. Cuz let’s face it, I liked han but most people didn’t think he was that major. Dom picking up a phone happy and then looking said and saying not Brian too would be a good way to go, as long as it’s early on

      • Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño

        I think is the best idea (it’s what I would do) but killing off Brian may seem insensitive to the haters and prudes. But if they do it (onscreen would be more powerful) I will support it.

      • Jay

        yea but you have to kill him off dont you, like a previous poster said theres no way Brian wouldnt help Dom.

      • Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño

        Absolutely. I think this is the worst scenario for a filmmaker: how the hell do you keep going without a big character without pissing everyone? As I said, I’m behind they killing Brian off, but there will be bitching

  • James

    “But they’re going to see the movie no matter what”

    Yes because everyone will still watch the movie, no matter what.

  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    Honestly they might need to scrap the film if they can’t find a good way of including his character while at the same time saying good bye to him (archived footage of the prior films, body doubles, and the few scenes he did film). If none of that works and they can’t find a great way to do this than it would just be better off leaving the film alone. Only other idea is to just focus only on Vin Diesel’s character Dom and have it a straight up revenge flick and not include the other characters but only in small doses. Maybe he can have Walker’s character and family go into hiding while he goes after Statham so that they are protected. I don’t know but it just sucks all around as I was really enjoying the last few films. Glad I saw FF6 in theaters. R.I.P. Paul.

    • Jamesy

      It could maybe work with the idea of Dom going solo and making it a straight up revenge movie, but a big part of these movies and the characters is “family” so it would seem some what odd to have the other characters just walk away, especially O’conner. I think the best way to go is use footage Walker already shot and a body double in some scenes and have Mia perhaps under threat from Stathams character so they go in to hiding, or have Mia injured in some way and O’conner stays and looks after her, but would have to be done in good taste and respectfully. Also with Lucas Black back in this, since it was him and Dom who really knew Han well and from the beginning, they could go the route of having those two characters lead most of the movie, helping it tie in with Tokyo Drift even more. But it would be tough not to view him as a replacement fot Walker but I think it’s the best way to go.

  • Guester

    Do you think before you type? Do you do any research or is this just the easiest job in the world where all you have to do is show up, spew BS, and collect a check? The technology isn’t there yet? Hate to break it to you, but last scene of Iron Man 3, Robert Downey’s face on a stand-in’s body. Flawless looking. Before that, Oliver Reed in Gladiator. hollywood has been super-imposing actors for years, you haven’t noticed because that’s how good they are at doing it. Computers can show massive city wide destruction, whole worlds of fantasy, and imaginary characters flying through the skies… but you REALLY think that it’s too hard to put someone else’s face on another person’s body? In 2013 soon to be 14?! Sure you gotta type for the content and get your internet clicks and hits (hey, you got mine), but for the sake of all that is good, could you PLEASE type with purpose? Meaning? Some hint of pre-thought? Otherwise save your uninformed opinions to yourself.

    • http://mattedscreen.blogspot.com/ TheMattedScreen

      Don’t forget Brandon Lee in The Crow! Most of the flashback scenes were Brandon’s stunt double with Lee’s face

    • Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño

      If they do it, hope it’s a little better that in Tron: Legacy. Don’t get me wrong, I like the movie, but Jeff Bridges face was more than a little bit plastic looking

      • brNdon

        That is a bit different since they were trying to make him look 30 years younger and not using a current likeness.

      • Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño

        Good point, just hope that it’s more like the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network that Tron. Although now that I think about it, the hardest part will be the voice.

      • GunzOfNavarone

        That works for me though as Clu was a clone of Kevin Flynn. Imperfect but passable. It kind of reminds me that he isn’t human.

      • Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño

        Yes, for CLU, but not for the flashback scene… it looked weird there.

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

        There’s a lot more footage of Walker to draw from if they were going to take that route. Remaking a 30 year-old Bridges would take a lot more artistic interpretation than Walker, who has had many films in the past 5 years.

    • Guest

      Tron Legacy.

    • Kota Lancaster

      They probably had Downey around to do facial capture though for Iron Man 3, that and usually the entire suit around him was CGI so it probably looked more natural around mixed up with that. Except when Sadler wore it, then it looked kind of goofy. Though William Sadler does deserve his own suit because he’s awesome.

    • Scurvy

      1. RDJ had facial capture done AFTER the scene for them to superimpose.
      2. Oliver Reed only had a few parts where they needed CGI and they had to cut his voice from elsewhere in the movie to use.

      They still have MOST of Walker’s scene to shoot. Yeah, you might be able to get away with it for a scene or two to explain his absence but no way could they believably finish the movie that way.

    • brNdon

      As well as the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network, and Michael Douglas playing piano in Behind the Candelabra.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carlos.shabo Carlos Shabo

    this might not be a popular decision but maybe they should try and recast the character. its a billion dollar franchise. i personally would like the franchise to take a rest since it wouldnt feel right without PW, but this is Universals biggest franchise ever.

    they may have to re-cast the character with an actor that fans wouldnt mind.

    its a lose lose

    • gar216

      I’d be okay with recasting or killing him off, if it was the right thing for the movie. I really feel like The Dark Knight Rises was hurt by the way Heath Ledger was completely dropped from the universe that the trilogy created.

      • Kota Lancaster

        That always kind of bugged me, I, personally, think it would have been disrespectful to try to recast The Joker or put his face in somewhere digitally, but to make no reference at all and pretty he never existed felt like they were ignoring the character’s legacy and the effect he had on that world. I don’t know, it just seemed off to me.

      • Khan

        I absolutely agree.

    • Leo Spaceman

      From the reaction of everybody in the cast it really feels like Paul was family and I don’t think you should recast family. I really feel like they should kill off Brian out of respect. It would be difficult but what they have filmed can be reworked to an extent and the audience would understand where it all is coming from. Have his scenes that he filmed be in the beginning, if they are rewriting the film, they can still include bits of what they shot. But Brian really should die to Statham’s character, maybe Dom and Brian are chasing him and they both crash and Dom wakes up from the wreckage to find Brian’s body dragged from the wreck with two bullets. I know I would be choked up watching it, knowing where it was going and knowing how much pain the actors must all be going through as they filmed it. As terrible as things are, they have a real chance to pull off something powerful and emotional and I believe that would be the best way to honor Paul’s legacy. Not recasting or cutting Brian from the film. Dom driven by revenge would be very powerful.

      • Jamesy

        I agree man, but having O’connor die in a car crash just seems way too close to home. What you say about dying at Stathams characters hands I agree with, have Dom’s vehicle crash and see parts of it on screen, and imply that O’connor also crashed but don’t show it on screen( just have the screeching of tires and the rolling noises etc) Dom wakes up in hospital where Hobbs walks in and tells him the news, that would be a powerful scene, Dom pulling off the tubes from his body trying to get out of bed and Hobbs holding him back and they give each other a look of “This f*ckers going down” Titles role, music kicks in, have flashes of O’connor from previous movies in a montage and continue the story from there with Dom, Lucas Black and Hobbs leading it with the supporting cast showing face but keeping distance due to them going through so much.

  • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

    Han’s character in Tokyo Drift died the same way as Walker did in real life (sort of). Horrible way to go.

    • The Flobbit

      There is a difference between being murdered by Jason Statham in a street-race, and dying in a car crash, riding away from a charity you sponsored.

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

        Well, technically you’re right, but I wasn’t commenting on the situation surrounding such a death, only on the death itself: in a car, burned alive.

        Jason Statham wasn’t in Tokyo Drift. Which movie are you thinking of?

      • The Destroyer

        At the end of 6, they reveal that Jason Statham is the person who killed Han during Tokyo Drift, and then he calls Dom saying, “You don’t know me, but you are about to.” The plot of 7 is supposed to revolve around Dom and the crew seeking revenge against his character, who is the brother of 6′s villain Shaw.

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

        Yeah?

        Okay, watching that scene again I’m guessing Stathams character is in the silver Mercedes:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zml7qQpL8Yo

      • The Destroyer

        Yeah, here is the scene from 6 cut with Tokyo Drift
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stkkHsDc34w

      • The Flobbit

        Fast and Furious 6, he appeared in the end credits.

  • brNdon

    They need to find a way to send Brian home to be with his baby and to put his family first, over the risk of death/arrest. Or just have him get shot in a situation where Vin Diesel doesn’t have time to hold Walker’s head in his lap. Kind of like William Petersen’s death in “To Live and Die in LA.” It happens very quickly and unexpectedly and the plot progresses.

    There isn’t going to be any way to do it and please everyone. I’m sure Walker would want them to do whatever is necessary to finish the film, as long as it is done well. But as sure as the Sun will rise tomorrow, there are people who WILL be upset with whatever the outcome is.

  • SomeGuy

    I like the idea of him going off to “Paradise” with his wife and child. Of course, it is tough to set this up without knowing what they already shot. I just think that there is now way to respectfully kill off his character in a film that revolves around car action. Also, it would be a pretty depressing film since the character of Han is dead as well. (I know from images that they filmed those funeral scenes.)

    Maybe Dom does go on a solo revenge mission for the sake of Han’s death but does so without anyone else in the family knowing. Everyone could say, “We should take it easy for the time being.” But something is cooking inside Dom’s head. Just some ideas, I guess.

    I respect Paul Walker greatly and I hope that the filmmakers make their decisions purely out of respect. RIP.

  • The Flobbit

    This is one of the most tasteless, disrespectful, and disgusting articles I’ve ever read. You, Mr. Goldberg, cannot refrain from sticking your goddamn opinion into everything, AS IF WE FUCKING CARED. We do not need to hear your damn opinions on what Universal should do and how wise or not this decision should be. You repel me.

    • brNdon

      He is pretty disgusting. He has been in such a rush to pump out articles on this subject in an effort to increase traffic. Much like the studio releasing digital copies of Fast 6 just hours after Walker’s death.

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

        The studio did that to raise money for Walker’s charity, dickhead.

    • Person

      What did he say that was so bad? He just listed the options Universal has and (oh no!) offered a couple opinions on what he thinks is the best way to go. He’s said nothing that was in bad taste…

      • The Flobbit

        The whole goddamn article was in bad taste.

    • FireWithFire

      He is a scumbag that editorializes way too much. And troll’s relentlessly for attention.

    • mattinacan

      you’re an idiot, Goldberg said nothing wrong

    • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

      Wait, what? People aren’t allowed to have opinions? Are you part of the Nazi Opinion Brigade?

      You can disagree with the author without being an asshole and personally attacking him. Well, a smart person could, anyway.

      • The Flobbit

        I don’t disagree with the authors opinions. I disagree with the fact that he inserts them anywhere anyone will hear them, like a self-obsessed child. His opinions are, more often than not, blunt, tasteless, and incredibly ignorant. We don’t want to hear what Goldberg thinks on the matter. We want to hear about Fast and Furious 7. Except for his reviews, he needs to be TRANSPARENT when writing articles.

        God how I hate him.

  • The Flobbit

    I really do pity James Wan. This is a terrible, terrible dilemma. What on earth will he do? Just thinking about it makes my head hurt. Well, he has to do something, so I will take a back seat here…

    Let’s just wait for the movie. And honor the memory of a good man.

  • Maylay

    The movie is coming out regaurdless, no matter what they do to the film is gonna be the DARKEST one of all. Brace yourselfs!

    • Marissa Evans

      Oh yeah, they’ll make this with or without him, there’s too much money in it.

  • Marissa Evans

    It would be nice if they had at least a few scenes with him, but I can definitely understand the conundrum. I wish the cast and crew the best in coming to a decision, and his friends and family condolences, as well as those of the man who passed with him. It’s terrible to think about.

  • Marissa Evans

    Also that whole body double thing is odd. I’m sure people would be very distracted pointing out “that’s him” and “that’s not him” the whole time. Plus it’s disrespectful I’d think. It’s literally replacing him, that’s a bit much.

  • Dmula

    Im sure Walker would want this movie to be made and more sequels because he seems like that type of dude but whatever they figure out this should be the last one and the story resolves

  • mattinacan

    they should just can this series – i mean, i know they are money makers, but these movies are just awful.

    • The Destroyer

      They already have a lot of money tied up in this movie. It doesn’t make much financial sense to completely stop the movie halfway through production, wasting millions of dollars. Besides, then they can give a portion of the profits to his daughter and his charity.

      • mattinacan

        that’s a fabulous idea if they do it

  • The Destroyer

    I think the best way to go would be to have Statham’s character kill O’Conner in the first act of the movie, but do it in a way that doesn’t involve cars, such as being shot through a window or something. And then use the actors actual grief and emotions to carry the movie to places we’ve never seen. And then at the end, have a funeral so the audience and actors can say one last good bye to O’Conner, and maybe with some archival footage of him walking into the sunset. And then end the series with Dom realizing that there is too much of a cost for his actions.

  • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

    I think they should just bring back Lucas Black and give him the lead, but he’s already in the movie.

    That’s my suggestion: rewrite the film and make Lucas Black the lead.

    • Jamesy

      That’s what I was thinking, since it was Lucas and Dom who knew Han the most (from what I remember) have them lead the movie along with Hobbs. That way it would seem less forced, if it was just Lucas and Dom it would seem too much like a replacement which would seem disrespectful, but having the three of them go on a revenge spree could work, having O’connor under witness protection or something in a situation where he REALLY can’t leave because its poses to much danger to his family, this may seem in bad taste, but having Mia suffering from a terminal illness or something is the only way I can imagine Walkers character staying at home. Can anyone really picture O’connor letting Dom go it alone? Whatever route they go it’s gonna be tough, one of the leads passed in a car accident and these movies feature a lot of car stunts etc, I think they should try and tame the amount car stunts performed in terms of explosions etc, and focus more on a character piece, hand to hand combat and set pieces. The end of the movie could have everyone say goodbye and go their separate ways due to them all loosing too much, but still leaving enough space open in the door for a return instead of shutting it off completely, if they choose to continue do it through video games or a series where some of the supporting characters lead and have drop in appearances from the main cast.

  • WhatsBest?

    Is killing a character off in a movie insensitive, or in poor taste, if the actor died in real life? I think it seems most appropriate. Thoughts?

  • Matty

    I’m sure there is enough footage of him to include his character into the movie somehow and give him a respectful send off. And us viewers will know that it’s forced so we shouldn’t even mind if it seems a little wonky. Wan is a good director. He’ll figure it out.

  • Steven

    This article is written in very poor taste. That’s all I have to say.

  • NICK НΛRT

    i agree that it’s in poor taste, but the technology definitely is there to digitally insert his face on another actor.. you clearly havent seen captain america, the social network, or anything made in the past 5 years involving motion capture technology. the tricky part would be putting his face on an actor and having dialogue come out of his mouth that he never filmed. either way its a fucked up situation and i hope they can make it work. normally i would say let it go but the post credits thing was a huge cliffhanger and this franchise has been building towards circling back to tokyo drift for a while now, so if the movie didnt come out it would just feel wrong.. plus i was really eager to see what james wan was going to add to this franchise

  • Anthony Michael

    “The Technology isn’t there yet?” The Crow did it almost 20 years ago.

  • atomik86

    I feel like the technology is definitely there. benjamin button definitely showed super-imposing would not be a problem. another example: the first half of captain america. however since paul has passed, the super-imposing would still be limited expressions and mouth movements for dialogue without risking it and making it look really fake. my opinion, brian needs to die in the film. use existing footage, have him hop in a car/walk into a building, cut to an explosion. make it tasteful, make it fit and it could work. hell, make it so he did it sacrificing himself to save mia and/or the kid. brian ends his saga as a hero all while reinforcing the strong message of doing things for family. its gonna be work but I think its doable and could work our seamlessly.

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