Filming on Fast & Furious 7 was halfway finished when Paul Walker died last night in a car crash. The actor, who starred in all but one of the Fast & Furious movies, had not completed his work on the upcoming sequel. Naturally, production has been delayed not only to give Walker’s friends, family, and co-workers time to grieve. However, the production is delayed indefinitely as Universal Studios, the producers, and director James Wan try to figure out how to proceed without one of the movie’s lead actors. According to The Wrap, shooting, which included scenes with Walker, was scheduled to resume this week in Atlanta following the holiday break. The production was then scheduled to go to Abu Dhabi to continue filming. That plan now seems highly unlikely as are any plans regarding the future of Fast & Furious 7.
Hit the jump for more.
According to The Wrap, Wan and Universal have “not make any concrete determinations as to how the story or production would be altered,” and “They also have not determined if the scheduled release date will need to change.” Fast & Furious 7 is currently set to open on July 11, 2014.
While this business talk may seem crass, and the adage “the show must go on” may come off as somewhat glib, remember that this was Walker’s franchise as much as it was Vin Diesel‘s. And while I won’t rewrite the past and pretend his work in these movies bowled me over (I was far more impressed with his work in Running Scared), his performance as Brian O’Conner endeared Walker to millions of fans. I would be shocked if they tried to cut him out of Fast & Furious 7 entirely, but we also don’t know how much of his shooting was completed and how important those scenes are to the finished film.
There’s a business aspect on how to continue, but part of that business is figuring out how to respect the fans by respecting Walker’s legacy.