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What will Paul Walker’s death mean for ‘Fast and Furious 7′?

- December 1st, 2013

UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fast 7 won’t be scrapped. Filming, which was set to resume Monday, will be delayed.

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Following the tragic death of 40-year-old actor Paul Walker Saturday afternoon, one of the biggest questions in the weeks and months ahead will undoubtedly be: What happens to the Fast & Furious franchise?

Walker was currently shooting the seventh instalment in Atlanta with co-stars Vin Diesel, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Ronda Rousey, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Lucas Black, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and director James Wan. Filming was then scheduled to move to Abu Dhabi in January, with the finished product hitting screens July 11, 2014.

The actor’s final post from his Twitter page teased Fast 7:

The Fast & Furious series was one of Universal’s most profitable franchises, and the role of Brian O’Conner was the one Walker was most well-known for. It was also a part he loved being identified with.

“I get that a lot,” Walker told USA Today from the Atlanta set of Fast & Furious 7 in one of his last interviews. “I’m Brian a lot more than I’m Paul Walker, which is awesome. When I hear, ‘Hey Paul Walker!’ my hair stands up on the back of my neck. It’s uncomfortable. But when I hear ‘It’s Brian!’ it’s cool. I like Brian.”

In a recent interview with Collider, Walker revealed that there were plans for as many as three more Fast & Furious films after the seventh.

“The studio supposedly wants 8, 9 and 10,” Walker said. “I’ll be 50. Even if 7 were to [tank], there’s at least an 8. That’s a guarantee.”

It’s unclear how many more scenes Walker still had left to shoot on Fast & Furious 7, but he was central to the franchise and his character, along with Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto, would have continued to be a focal point in ensuing sequels.

Other actors have died during a film shoot, and directors have found a way to complete the picture. Heath Ledger’s final scenes in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus were completed by Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp. More recently, director George Sluizer completed River Phoenix’s Dark Blood 20 years after the actor’s death.

For a film of this magnitude, I imagine that Wan and scriptwriter Chris Morgan will have to rework the storyline so that the seventh film honours Walker’s legacy and provides closure for the franchise.

But given how he died, and the subject matter of the Fast & Furious films, how they account for his character’s fate will have to be handled with the utmost care.

Despite whatever plans Universal had for the series, I can’t envision Fast & Furious without Brian O’Conner. He was the heart and soul of those movies.

For many people, myself included, the Fast & Furious films had become a summer tradition. It was popcorn fun at its best – and I mean that in the highest regard. It was a series that continued to evolve and get better with each new entry (Tokyo Drift being the lone exception).

“The thing that’s pretty crazy is that neither Vin nor I were going back to do the third one,” Walker told Collider. “They were going to do a direct-to-video 4. They were going to dispose it and be done with it. But then, Vin was like, “No, I’ll come in for a cameo,” because it wasn’t testing well. He wanted to set up the fourth one and the studio went for it, and we got a second life. It was supposed to be done already.”

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14 comments

  1. roxy | December 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    It’s so sad what has happened to such a wonderful person :( watching fast and furious will never be the same again, my heart and thought’s go out to his daughter, family, friend’s and his fast and furious family. The world is a much sadder place now your gone xx

  2. Kankakee | December 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Tokyo Drift was great! You’re mental!

  3. barb cottingham | December 1, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Paul will be missed ,we were so sorry to hear of his death,fast annd furious wouldnt be the same with out him

  4. Trent | December 1, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Hi,

    No disrespect, but the article doesn’t answer the question in the title. Most all this information was previously available in articles discussing Walker’s tragic death.

  5. chase | December 1, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Fast and furious inspired my love for cars, in particular the lancer evo, skyline, and dodge charger/challenger. These movies teach a lot. it shows that you need to cherish your family, because any day something could happen. that’s just what happened to Brian.(Paul) He will be missed, as will brian in fast and furious. we’ll see how the 7th plays out to be, some of the best ever created. its because of the fast and the furious I want to grow up and race. its truly an inspiration to all, in some way shape or form. Rest in piece, you were a good man.

  6. Fernando | December 2, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Man Paul walker was a good characters

  7. roy beard | December 2, 2013 at 4:28 am

    bye paul (or brian as you like to be knowing as) you will be mssied alot by many people and you were a well knowing guy and such a great actor. The Fast and the Furious will not be the same with out you i will keep the Fast and Furious that i already have and also the other dvd that you have been in so that i will always remeber you. you were a legend and will always be a legend and somone that i looked up to, good bye rest in piece. At least you gone in something that you loved which was a sports car.

  8. Vishal m | December 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Paul walker will be sadly missed rest in peace and may your fast and furious legacy lives on

  9. Lyn | December 2, 2013 at 10:10 am

    To the Walker family, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. Paul (Brian) WILL be missed, but will be forever in our hearts. God Bless. Lyn

  10. Harpreet Singh | December 2, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Feeling So sad and bad too for our greatest and fabulous actor ‘Paul Walker’….
    But we knows History and Nature never Stops..That’s why
    I have a name in my mind for James Wan because he wants to continue
    his movie… So the Bollywood Actor ‘Ranbeer Hooda’ is Good for the role of Brian…
    He is a good Actor and there is one quality in him for that role is that his face is
    Similar with Walker’s face…
    I believe my comment will help little to Sir Wan…
    R.I.P PAUL WALKER…. :-(

  11. Matt | December 2, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Paul was one of my favorite actors, growing up watching the Fast and Furious movies and how they progressed was what drove my interest for cars. He was the heart and soul of the franchise. “If one day speed kills me, dont cry because i was smiling”
    R.I.P Paul Walker you will forever be missed

  12. freezy | December 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Brian will miss fast 7 am so sad for him

  13. Amit sawhney | December 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    feeling very sad on the news of paul walker, great work you have done in fast nd furious series, thanks for such a wonderful entertainment, rest in piece.

  14. Nick | April 9, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Fast and fourious has broken peoples hearts from the death of Paul walker it’s kind of unamaginable with out the crew brien teredo and the the rest it isn’t going to be the same

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