Fans and co-stars of Paul Walker are still mourning the loss of the actor in a car crash last month, but his work in the next installment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise will live on. Universal has finally come to a decision about the fate of the project that was in the middle of production at the time of Walker’s death on Nov. 30. Walker was set to return to work on the film with Vin Diesel and the rest of the cast on the Monday following his death. The actor died outside a charity being held in Valencia, CA. He was not alone in the car at the time of his death. Roger Rodas was driving, and he also died in the crash.
Following his death, Universal made it clear that the project would move forward, but production was halted to give those involved with the film time to grieve the loss of the actor. Many members of the cast were in attendance at his funeral two weeks after his death. It took time for the release of his remains, and the family wanted to schedule the service at a time that everyone could attend.
What will happen to the film? It will be released, but the release date has been delayed. Instead of the planned July 2014 release date, the film will now be released in April 2015. Vin Diesel took to his Facebook to announce the new release date and to share a photo from the last scene he filmed with Paul Walker for the film. That photo is shown above. He said the following on his Facebook:
“There was a unique sense of completion, of pride we shared… in the film we were now completing… the magic captured… and, in just how far we’ve come. Fast and Furious 7 will be released April 10th 2015! P.s. He’d want you to know first.”
How will the film finish production? Universal and those involved with the film have turned to Paul’s brother, Cody Walker. He will film some final scenes for the project. He looks quite a lot like his brother, but he will be used in far away shots or from behind only. Cody has confirmed his involvement in the film on his own Facebook page, according to IB Times. Universal and the crew for the film were unsure how to wrap the production with Paul’s death. He was set to film several new scenes when production picked up.
Chris Morgan, the writer of the film, has been working on revisions of the script since earlier this month, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If he completes his work in the weeks to come, the cast could return to work filming more scenes as early as late January. With the delay of the film’s release, this could be pushed back even further though. A date was not given for the restart of production when the new release date was announced.
Universal’s main concern was allowing all those involved time to grieve. Paul Walker touched the lives of many, especially those he worked with on this film franchise. The group had been together since the release of the first film for the most part, and Universal had planned to release more films following the release of “Fast & Furious 7” next year. Universal has not made mention of those plans again following Walker’s death.
What do you think? Has Universal made the right decision in delaying the release of the film to 2015? Will you be heading to theater to see how Universal and those involved handle the exit of Paul Walker from the franchise? “Fast & Furious 7” will arrive in theaters in April 2015.