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‘Fast and Furious’ cast and crew pen ‘Thank You’ note to Paul Walker

- July 11th, 2014

Production has wrapped on Fast & Furious 7 and to commemorate the tragedy that marred the shooting of the film, the cast and crew have posted a message on Facebook noting the end of the shoot and the loss of one of the film’s principal stars, Paul Walker.

“Our family is big and strong but it won’t ever quite be whole again without Paul. All of us — those who’ve been here from the start and those whose first FAST film is 7 — wanted to create a special film for him and for you. We believe we have.”

The post goes on to praise Walker’s co-star Vin Diesel as being the glue that held the film together, as well as Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody, who completed some of Walker’s remaining scenes.

“From the start, Vin has been our leader who feels what’s right for FAST in his gut and in his heart. When we had to stop production last year, Vin gathered us back together and moved us forward when we needed it most. He led us to this day.”

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Fast 7 was originally slated to hit theatres this summer, but was moved following the tragic death of Walker on Nov. 30, 2013, outside of Los Angeles. At the time, the latest film, which integrates Lucas Black from Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift into the storyline, was supposed to be the first of possibly three new sequels. New additions Kurt Russell, Jason Statham (as the villain), Djimon Hounsou and director James Wan were tapped to join returning stars Walker, Diesel, Tyrese, Ludacris, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster.

With Walker’s Brian O’Connor character being “retired” from the series, Fast VIII, IX and X are up in the air.

Walker reflected on the popularity of the franchise in one of his final interviews with Collider last November.

“Well, the studio supposedly wants 8, 9 and 10. I’ll be 50. Even if 7 were to [tank], there’s at least an 8. That’s a guarantee. The thing that’s pretty crazy is that neither Vin nor I were going back to do the third one. 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.”

Fast & Furious 7 opens April 3, 2015.

First look at Paul Walker’s brothers in ‘Fast and Furious 7′

- April 21st, 2014

James Wan and his Fast and Furious 7 team may just pull off using Paul Walker’s brothers as stand-ins.

Following the death of Walker, director James Wan postponed production of the film as he and his team tried to figure out how to wrap the film up without their main star.

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Older brother Caleb (L), Vin Diesel (C), and younger brother Cody (R).
Courtesy Vin Diesel’s Facebook page.

After weeks of conversation and pitched ideas, Wan announced they would be bringing in Walker’s brothers Cody and Caleb as stand-ins for the final moments of the seventh installment.

The announcement was met with mixed reactions, but most agreed the idea seemed ludicrous and impossible to pull off.

Although, those hesitant concerns may be slightly eased after seeing the photo Vin Diesel, the franchise’s biggest actor, posted to Facebook early Monday morning.

In the photo reported by Badass Digest, Diesel can be seen talking to both brothers on the set of the new movie. Although younger brother Cody has more distinguished features, older brother Caleb is practically an identical twin.

He’s got a little more body fat on him than his late brother, but with some good old fashioned Hollywood exercise regime, Caleb may just be able to believably work some of his brother’s scenes.

Of course, we still don’t know just how much acting the two will actually have to do in the film, nor do we know just how much CGI will be used to make them look as eerily similar to their brother as they can.

Even amidst all of the speculation, it’s impossible to say how the movie’s going to turn out until we have the final product in our hands, so to speak. It could be a monumental moment in cinematic history, but it could also be one of the worst decisions made.

The question that really needs to be asked is what Wan plans to do for the future of the series? We can safely assume this is the end of Brian “The Buster” O’Connor, but what does that mean for Mia and their son? Are they out of the game completely? Is this the beginning of the end for the massive action franchise?

Only time will tell, unfortunately.

The seventh Fast & Furious movie is slated to be released on April 10, 2015.

Paul Walker’s brothers to help finish ‘Fast and Furious’ scenes

- April 15th, 2014

The filmmaking team behind Fast & Furious 7 have asked Paul Walker’s brothers to complete some of his final scenes in the upcoming sequel.

The announcement was made on the film’s Facebook page Tuesday afternoon. At the time of his death last November, Walker had completed roughly half his scenes and was slated to appear in Fast VIII, IX and possibly X.

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Universal Pictures, director James Wan and writer Chris Morgan opted to “retire” his character, Brian O’Conner, and will presumably continue on with the franchise. After noting that “Paul had already shot his dramatic scenes and most of his action” for the new film, the Facebook message announces that his brothers Caleb and Cody will “complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production.”

It had been reported last month that Walker’s final Fast 7 scenes would be CGI’d using body doubles and voice effects.

Fast & Furious 7 opens April 10, 2015.

Paul Walker’s final ‘Fast and Furious 7′ scenes will be CGI’d

- March 21st, 2014

After months of speculation, we now have an idea on how producers plan to finish Fast & Furious 7 and “retire” the late Paul Walker’s character Brian O’Conner.

According to The New York Daily News’ Confidenti@l, Universal and director James Wan will use a combination of body doubles and CGI.

“They have hired four actors with bodies very similar to Paul’s physique and they will be used for movement and as a base,” a source close to the production tells Confidenti@l. It had been rumoured that filmmakers were considering using Paul’s brother Cody to shoot his remaining scenes, but it is unclear if he will be one of the doubles.

The film recently resumed production in Atlanta and is scheduled for release April 10, 2015.

At the time of Walker’s death last November, the 40-year-old star had completed roughly half his scenes in the upcoming sequel. He had confirmed there were plans for a Fast VIII, IX and possibly X. The film has been reportedly been rewritten in a way that provides closure for the O’Connor character, but allows the series to continue.

In a Facebook post, Walker’s Fast co-star Vin Diesel wrote, “We are going back in this month Pablo… I know you are with me…”

Some of Walker’s other co-stars have spoken out in the months since his death.

“This is the only movie I ever worked on where we are all real close even after the movie is over,” Tyrese Gibson told TooFab of the Fast & Furious team. “It wasn’t just losing a co-star, he was family for real. That’s why it took so long to recover.”

“Listen, it’s catastrophic,” Kurt Russell said while promoting a documentary about his father’s minor-league baseball team at Sundance. “It’s the worst thing that could happen to a movie, but it’s not as bad as what happened to Paul,” “So everything is in perspective. He was a terrific guy. And life is full of curveballs.”

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‘Fast and Furious 7′ to resume shooting in April

- February 27th, 2014

After a lengthy delay following the death of Paul Walker, Fast & Furious 7 is getting ready to resume shooting.

Sources are telling The Hollywood Reporter that the sequel will restart production in April. Walker had only completed approximately half his scenes when he was killed in a car crash outside of Los Angeles on Nov. 30. Production was immediately shut down and screenwriter Chris Morgan and director James Wan were forced to rework the storyline to retire Walker’s Brian O’Connor character from the series.

O’Connor will not be killed in the film and the series is expected to continue with Fast 8, 9 and 10.

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In a recent interview with IGN, Kurt Russell talked about his role in Fast 7, which was supposed to expand in the eighth instalment.

“That’s going to be interesting,” Russell said when he was asked if his character would be back for Fast 8. “Because the character has been purposely been treated in a certain way so that he can or can’t. The ‘can’ will be an interesting stretch. It works, because I understand what it is and we came up with it. It’s like, ‘Oh, wow! That’s cool!’ If he doesn’t, then he doesn’t. If he gets killed, he gets killed. That will be for them to determine. I just wanted to be able to work with them making the best possible character to either be sad he doesn’t move on or say, ‘Yeah, I want this character to move on — we need this character to move on.’ That sort of thing. I don’t know what the situation, with Paul dying, does to that. I don’t know.”

And Walker’s Fast co-star Vin Diesel posted a video on his Facebook page Wednesday night showing him playing a video game with a friend who he hints could be the late Paul Walker. Diesel has been sharing photos and video of the late star on the social media site for the past several months.

Fast & Furious 7 opens April 10, 2015.