Fast And Furious 7 was on hiatus for Thanksgiving when Paul Walker lost his life in a horrific car crash Saturday. Universal and the team behind the picture are now facing a delay in production and are discussing the fate of the film.
Walker, along with the rest of the cast and crew of Fast 7, had been scheduled to return to Atlanta on Sunday to resume shooting the big-budget film, which features extensive car racing. The studio and production team plans to hold off on doing anything else until today (Dec. 2) or Tuesday at the earliest.
Director James Wan and Universal executives held a conference call Sunday morning to discuss the state of the film, whether rewrites would be necessary and how to proceed in a manner that would be respectful to Walker’s death. The 40-year-old actor was a favorite on the set of the Fast And Furious movies, and his death has left his fellow stars, including Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson, and the crew devastated.
Walker had returned to Southern California when the limited-edition Porsche Carrera GT he was a passenger in crashed Saturday afternoon in Valencia, bursting into flames. Roger Rodas was identified as the driver. He was a well-respected financial adviser and the CEO of Walker’s company Always Evolving.
The charismatic actor was reprising his role as Brian O’Conner alongside Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, and Jason Statham. The seventh film in the racing-centric action franchise is currently slated to hit theaters on July 11, but Walker’s death could significantly delay production, which would impact the release date. In addition, marketing the film could pose an incredibly daunting challenge, considering Walker died in a crash of a flashy car similar to those used in the movies.
“All of us at Universal are heartbroken,” a studio spokesperson said in a statement Saturday night. “Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast and Furious films, and to countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul’s family.”
Props: TV Guide