In the aftermath of Paul Walker’s tragic car accident on Saturday, Universal executives quickly held a conference call earlier today to discuss what many have started speculating: what will happen to Fast & Furious 7? Filming for the action movie had been underway since September, and filming was set to resume later this week in Atlanta. The actors were on break for the Thanksgiving holiday when Walker returned home to Southern California and the accident occurred.
“The movie will be delayed but won’t be scrapped,” says The Hollywood Reporter. The movie was set to release on July 11, 2014, and Walker had reportedly signed on for two more films. Although, TMZ reports that the actors are too distraught to carry on with the project currently. “No one wants to even think about the movie…period,” the TMZ source says. Among those distraught is Fast 7 director James Wan, who expressed his immense grief on Twitter:
I am so beyond heartbroken right now. I can't process anything.
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) December 1, 2013
Variety speculates that a major rewrite will now be inevitable, as it seems most of the footage shot thus far has been pricey action sequences and not a lot of face time, including scenes set in Abu Dhabi.
The film is also the first in the franchise not being directed by Justin Lin, who bowed out due to the “expedited schedule” to make the July 11th release date – a date that will no longer be kept. A new release date isn’t likely to be announced until the studio decides how to handle Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner. “Universal not only needs to strike the right balance between the nature of the street racing franchise and the manner of Walker’s death, but also find a tasteful exit for his character,” Variety writes.
Walker’s next film, Hours, which is about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is still slated to release in selected theaters on December 13th.
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