Following the tragic death of Paul Walker this past November, the creative team behind the latest installment of the Fast And Furious franchise which helped to launch the actor to stardom has been faced with the grim reality of figuring out how to proceed with the in-production seventh installment of the series.
Although there has been much speculation as to how the franchise may move forward, it is now appearing as if Walker’s character will be “retired” from the series. The Hollywood Reporter is citing sources that are telling them that –
[T]he plan is to “retire” the character in a way that the studio hopes will satisfy fans of the franchise and make use of the existing footage of Walker, who died about halfway through the Fast 7 shoot.
The Reporter goes on to state that Fast 7 screenwriter Chris Morgan had been called in to rework portions of the screenplay to keep Walker’s character part of the story but give him some closure that would allow the franchise to continue. Morgan worked with the film’s director James Wan and Universal Studios executive Jeffrey Kirschenbaum in determining the best course of action after the three reviewed all of the footage of Walker previously shot for the upcoming sequel.
Previously speculation suggested that Walker’s character could be killed off in the film, an idea that I think most people found fairly crass.
Although the film was originally set to be released later this year to quickly capitalize on the success of last year’s Fast & Furious 6, it had previously been pushed back to April 10, 2015.