Sources reportedly revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that Universal Studios intends to proceed with production of the film, and that studio executives met with Australian director James Wan overnight to discuss how to continue filming while being respectful of Walker’s death. The sources also said it is likely Wan will consider a rewrite of the film, removing Walker’s character Brian O’Connor from several scenes that are yet to be shot.
It is expected the film will pay tribute to Walker, and address the fact that the circumstances of the actor’s death – a car crash – makes the film franchise’s many high-speed car scenes significantly more sensitive.
A Universal spokesperson released a statement yesterday acknowledging Walker’s death, saying, “All of us at Universal are heartbroken. Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast and Furious films, and countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul’s family.”
The studio declined to comment on the future of Fast and Furious 7.
TMZ reported that while Walker was due to film several “key scenes” this week in Atlanta, Georgia, he had in fact already shot most of his scenes before yesterday’s accident, since filming began last September. While production was on hiatus for the Thanksgiving holiday period, shooting had been set to resume on Sunday.
However, the website says several cast members are too distraught to return to the set of the hugely successful film franchise, prompting a need for production to be delayed.
Walker was a passenger in a red Porsche Carrera GT when the driver of the car, Roger Rodas, CEO of Walker’s company Always Evolving, lost control of the vehicle.
Fast and Furious 7 had previously been slated to reach cinemas on July 11, 2014.