In the wake of the tragic death of Paul Walker this past weekend is the cold reality of how studio Universal will move forward on the film the actor was working on at the time, Fast And Furious 7.
The Hollywood Reporter is quoting from sources that the company is not going to be abandoning the film which is mid-way through principal photography. Studio execs and director James Wan held a conference call yesterday to discuss their options for completing the film “in a manner that would be respectful to Walker’s death.”
With a portion of the film already completed in Atlanta, Georgia, production was set to restart this week following a break for the Thanksgiving holiday. Additional filming was scheduled in January in Dubai. The Reporter stated that those plans are on hold for at least the next couple of days while the studio reviews its options.
It should come as no surprise that the film was not going to be scrapped. The Fast And Furious franchise is one of Universal’s biggest moneymakers at the moment to the point where they rushed the seventh film into production following the sixth’s film box office success this past summer. And while the Hollywood Reporter doesn’t elaborate on what steps the film will be taking to work around Walker’s death, I would imagine that the previously announced release date for Fast And Furious 7 of July 11 is going to be pushed back. The production was already under a constrictive time frame to meet that date, to the point where Justin Lin, who directed the last four installments of the franchise, bowed out.
Adding to the challenges in getting the action film to theaters is the fact that Walker died in a car accident, making it difficult to not appear to be in bad taste while capitalizing on the street racing aspect of the franchise.