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'Fast & Furious 7' May Scrap Film & Start Over After Paul Walker Death

by
December 4, 2013
Source: The Wrap

Fast & Furious

Following the sudden, tragic death of Fast & Furious franchise star Paul Walker over the weekend, production on the sequel Fast & Furious 7 had been delayed indefinitely to allow the cast and crew to mourn, and director James Wan and the film's producers figure out how to proceed. The film is just over halfway in the can, but there are still plenty of key scenes with Walker's character left to be shot. Now The Wrap has word on a couple of possibilities, the most extreme would have production scrapping everything they've shot and starting over from scratch. But doesn't that seem expensive for a $200 million blockbuster?

Well, Universal Pictures is insured for unexpected tragedies as this, and that would allow them to start over without incurring any serious costs. But that's just one viable option. There seems to be some dissension among the sources providing this information as one says the film could be made without Walker's Brian O'Connor character, while another says that's not even in consideration. With the same amount of disagreement, one insider says a decision on what to do with the film is just days away, while another says it will likely take weeks to figure out how the film will recover.

Supposedly, the producers want to be "careful not to force the movie to conform to the original cast just for the sake of preserving Walker’s scenes." However, that would seem like the smart thing to do, if only to figure out some way to make him go out in glory. It's hard to say whether it's tasteless to kill the character off, or if that would be a fitting tribute to the adrenaline-loving actor who loved racing on and off the screen. Fans would surely like to see Walker go out while fighting for his Fast & Furious team instead of just having him disappear without explanation (or with a lame on-screen reference to his absence). But still, trying to fit that element into a story that wasn't planning on that character death would be hard.

Either way, this is a tough situation for Universal, and there's likely no perfect decision that will make everyone happy. However, there's at least some light at the end of the tunnel in the wake of Walker's death. THR reports the studio has decided to donate part of the proceeds from the Blu-Ray/DVD sales of Fast & Furious 6 (arriving on December 10th) to Walker's nonprofit charity Reach Out WorldWide. Walker founded the organization after the January 2010 Haiti earthquake, and it gathers a network of professionals with first responder skill-sets who bring their expertise to areas devastated by natural disasters. Thoughts?

UPDATE: Universal made this official statement: "Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul's immediate family and our extended Fast & Furious family of cast, crew and filmmakers. At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on Fast & Furious 7 for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise. We are committed to keeping Fast & Furious fans informed, and we will provide further information to them when we have it. Until then, we know they join us in mourning the passing of our dear friend Paul Walker."

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  • cs
    I think it depends mostly on just how many scenes he already finished. After they see what they have then they can make a decision on how to proceed.
    • http://giannii.com/about Michael Giannii Calvert
      It might be too hard to write around current scenes since from what I've read around the web he was a big part of this film.
  • TheOct8pus
    They should do a mini movie. Sort of like a Fast and Furious 6.5. It should end with Paul Walker's character getting abducted by aliens and undergoing a sex change operation....Maybe in part 7 he returns as a Hayden Panettiere....
  • DroidzFX
    Ask the family how they want Paul to be remembered and then go from there. They are the only opinions that should matter.
    • VAharleywitch
      Wouldn't say only... but their input should be considered.
  • nate
    They should definitely stick with what they currently have and use the scenes he's already done in honor of him. Find another look alike actor to finish his scenes. I rather have something like this to remember him by then to just completely write him out of the FF franchise.
    • Lagoya
      Switch actors halfway through the film?! that's an awful idea.
      • VAharleywitch
        Apparently his brother Caleb looks a lot like Paul, and has been used as a standin for him elsewhere. So it potentially gives a little leeway to work his death into a shot.
  • Gex
    If they're going to off his character, it should be done in the film, raise the stakes, make the villain more sinister. At the very least show some of the last film footage he was ever in, I consider that respectful in a way. 2 options for this, either he dies in a car, or outside of one. This would depend on what car footage, if any, he has already been filmed in. Considering how he died in real life, a death scene with him and his car being totaled would be disturbing, possibly too disturbing. But personally, that's what I would want to see, and that's what I would be fine with. Can't speak for anybody else.
    • Christopher Loughrey
      He doesn't need to have filmed any car footage because you could have the scene viewed from outside the car and not have to see the person inside it while having the film indicate that it is Paul's character in the car.
  • Lagoya
    The only way I think they can carry on with the existing footage is if they use CGI like they did for Brandon Lee in The Crow.
    • SonoftheMountain
      Except for the Crow they were almost done and only had a few minor scenes to go.
  • VAharleywitch
    I think the decision will have to depend a lot on how sequentially the film's been shot to date - if more or less sequential to the story, they can rework the back half. If they've skipped around the scenes, as many films do, then I am not sure what's the best way to go forward to honor Paul's final work, yet make a coherent & still-enjoyable film.
  • Ehsan Davodi
    BAD DECISION I'm talking with universal'men: We follow the sequels. Look to the awful 2nd instalment without key character like Vin Diesel or even an unusual move in fading more and more important character like Vin Diesel and even Paul himself in 3rd movie. FF IS NOT BASED ON CHARACTER PLAYING. Its Fun Action Entertainment with simple and good story. That's very sad if you banned us from watching Vin Diesel & Dwayne Johnson VS Jason Statham in THE JAMES WAN movie
  • Lautaro
    Letty was dead, then alive. I guess they'll have no problem working this out...
    • SonoftheMountain
      that's easy with characters, not so much with real people
  • http://www.roamandthink.com/ Quanah
    I think they have an opportunity to keep his character alive in the minds of Walker's fans forever. Death in life does not have to equal death on film. They could certainly find a way to have his character walk off into a sunset to start a different life and never return. That way, he remains a young, energetic man forever. Bless him...
  • Fidel Reyes
    It's either they have Shaw kill the character(onscreen or offscreen), or they give Brian and Mia the chance to just get away from it and raise their family. Make him not get into the action, and at the end edit some shot of him looking at the gang with Mia and Baby Jack and ride off into the sunset.
  • DAVIDPD
    Fans will wait.
  • OfficialJab
    I'm curious about what they've shot with him already. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in these discussions.
  • Shivsterrr
    Why don't they just leave the movie how it is, and advance some scenes of the movie. Example like they said Paul was a big part in the movie why not show how that he has passed away in the movie and Mia his wife in the movie is taking his revenge along with their friend from Tokyo Drift.
    • David Saint
      I like it..and bring back the character from tokyo drift to join the team..recast of course.
  • Holdinweight
    The best way to save the Fast and Furious franchise is for Jason Statham to kill Brian O'Conner ( Paul Walker) off screen. Like calling Dom and telling him to tune in to the news showing a plane crash or home explosion ( no car stuff, too close to reality) and Dominic and the remaining crew exacting revenge for his and Han's deaths
    • paulzyg
      Totally agree or have a stunt double and he gets shot by Jason and then leave it to Dom to get revenge. I personally feel they need to care on and all money could go to Paul family and daughter and his charitys.
  • renny
    To be honest, I think they should speak to the family on what they would like to do with theirs sons character. Depending on how that goes, if I were universal, I would actually try and see if Paul's brother Cody would fill in for him. They look alike. You need someone who makes similar body movements and expressions. It doesnt get any better than Cody.
    • David Saint
      wow, thats very in depth..my idea was to bring back the character from tokyo drift, and have "brian" join witness protection with the baby... since this one is supposed to be chronologically right after that one..but your idea might be better
  • Guest
    The Crow was finished without Brandon Lee why not finish Fast and Furious 7 without Paul?
    • James
      'cause Paul Walker doesn't wear face paint in the film.
  • Christopher Loughrey
    I know Paul would want them to finish the film with the scenes he had already filmed and to go out fighting for his team in a car because he was very passionate about the movie and the career of racing cars.
  • Josh Eggers
    The movie should go on keep what they have already filmed there was thing on facebook that some one posted how the movie should go on and it would make it the beat fast film ever here is the article posted
  • Vicki-Lee
    Finish the film like they did with Health Ledger and The Dark Night. There is enough technology around, that a way can be found to keep him in for the remainder of the film.
    • Real_JamesCain
      I agree. Have him tap dance down a flight of stairs with a vacuum. That'd be awesome!
  • Mateeullah Yusufzai
    from anywhere, but production needs to complete movie having Paul recorded scenes.. we are waiting for him...

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