Unless you live under a rock you’re aware that Paul Walker died in a car crash late last year. At that time he was busy with a number of things, of which the highest profile was the seventh Fast & Furious film.
Since he wasn’t done filming his part the production was halted so that the question of what to do could be answered. Looks like they have found that answer.
Sources tell THR that Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, will not be killed off in the film, now set for release April 10, 2015.
Instead, the 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.
In the weeks after the tragedy, director James Wan, writer Chris Morgan and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, Universal’s lead executive on the Fast films, pored over the footage Wan had shot. The trio then devised a plan to tweak the existing script so that Walker would remain a part of the story but could be written out, allowing the franchise to continue without him.
I basically expect the change to come in the form of something along the lines of “I put my family in danger, I can’t do this anymore” and you know what? I’m perfectly fine with that. Strange as it may seem the underlying theme of the entire franchise is family so it makes pretty much perfect sense.
The release of the film has been pushed back to April 2015 so while there is much work to be done –they are going to have to do some re-shooting and editing– they have plenty of time to do it.