‘Fast and Furious 7’ Likely Delayed Following Paul Walker’s Death

Actor will also be on screen soon in indie drama 'Hours' and Relativity's 'Brick Mansions'

The death of actor Paul Walker on Saturday leaves a major hole in Universal’s “Fast and Furious” series, the studio’s most successful active film franchise, which had been in production on its seventh installment since September for release next summer.

The film, which had been shooting in Los Angeles and Atlanta recently, had been scheduled for release on July 11, 2014, but a delay now seems likely.

Director James Wan reportedly held a conference with Universal execs Sunday morning to discuss the future of the film.

As of now, it is unclear how much of Walker’s footage had been shot, though judging by action photos posted on Twitter by the cast, it’s likely that the majority of footage lensed was costly action sequences. That makes it uncertain what creative solutions Wan and Universal are left with as they consider scenarios for Walker’s character, undercover Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Conner. It is expected that the studio will proceed with the pic, though Universal would not comment beyond a statement issued Saturday night.

SEE ALSO: ‘Fast & Furious’ Co-Star’s Stunned by Actor’s Death

Walker was reprising his role as one of the lead roles in the latest “Fast” installment, alongside co-stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.

Walker also stars in the completed drama “Hours,” about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Pantelion, the Latin audience-oriented arm of Lionsgate, said it will continue with its plan to release the film day-and-date on Dec. 13 via video-on-demand and in 15 markets theatrically.

SEE ALSO: Paul Walker: Coroner’s Investigation Could Take 2-3 More Days

Genesis Rodriguez and Nick Gomez co-star, with Walker playing a father trying to keep his infant daughter alive in the wake of the hurricane. The “Fast and Furious” movies have a huge appeal for the Latino audience, so “Hours” could turn out to be a smart find out of SXSW for Pantelion.

Walker’s popularity in the “Fast and Furious” franchise was possibly even greater overseas than in the U.S., and “Taken” producer EuropaCorp saw potential in a Walker-starring movie with “Brick Mansions,” which Relativity will release in the U.S. on Feb. 7. Hip hop artist RZA and Robert Maillet co-star, with Walker again playing an undercover cop, this time in the remake of French pic “District 13.”

Most of the “Fast and Furious” family took to social media to express their grief. Brewster said via Twitter: “Paul was pure light. I cannot believe he is gone.”

SEE ALSO: Paul Walker: How ‘Fast and the Furious’ Changed His Career from Hunk to Action Star

The “Fast” franchise, which so far has amassed more than $2.3 billion at the worldwide box office, had been firing on all cylinders since “Fast Five” defied expectations in 2011. Meanwhile, the franchise had its most successful installment early this summer, when “Fast and Furious 6” collected nearly $800 million globally.

Walker’s death immediately spurred eerie comparisons to the untimely ends of prominent actors including James Dean, who was killed in a high-speed car accident in September 1955, just after completing work on his third feature, “Giant”; and Heath Ledger, a key player in Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight” movie franchise. Warners faced a similar marketing challenge with “The Dark Knight” as the studio tried to be sensitive to the situation.

With “Fast and Furious 7,” Universal not only needs to strike the right balance between the nature of the street racing franchise and the manner of Walker’s death, but also find a tasteful exit for his character.

Helmer Wayne Kramer, who directed Walker in the 2006 thriller “Running Scared” and last year’s “Pawn Shop Chronicles,” called the actor a “supportive collaborator” who was deeply committed to filmmaking.

“I always told Paul that his most exciting years were going to be his 40s and 50s, and even beyond, as a masculine American tough guy in the vein of Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin,” Kramer wrote via Facebook. “We talked about how Paul was going to be my Lee Marvin and we were hungry to make those kind of films that could show Paul in that light.”

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  1. Amy Prater says:

    This needs to get into the correct hands ! I think I may have your double for Brian O’Connor. He goes to my church, he lives is Dallas,GA. And as the saying goes ( if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then it’s a duck. ) I would greatly appreciate a reply if at all possible. Thanks Amy

  2. aditya says:

    One way of honoring paul walker is to let the character Brian O’Connor still alive, by the way:
    1. scene of a car accident involving Brian O’Connor that he had to perform plastic surgery.
    2. Brian O’Connor is one of the important and vital character in the movie Fast and Furious. This movie will not be able to continue without Brian O’Connor because he had become a hallmark of this movie, in the movie he had become a father and best friend Toreto (Vin Diesel). So it is impossible Fast Furious 7 continues without involving character Brian O’Connor.
    Brian O’Connor should not die, we will remember Paul Walker by Brian O’Connor character.
    3. using the innate character actors like Brian O’Connor, and this is not easy but must be done.

  3. rachel jugoon says:

    we love you Paul Walker u will certainly b missed a lot R.I.P my dear…… :( knw dat fast 7 will not be the best as d ones previously wich u acted in,although some1 mite replace u no one cud act as gd as you we all love yew lots may your soul rest in peace :*

  4. Brandon says:

    So is Paul going to die fast and furious 7 .? and R.I.P Paul walker he was my idol

  5. TANIA MOLLER says:

    ** People around the world who know you are heart broken!! ** But God needed you.. you now are one of HIS Angels. YOU WILL BE MISSED..And will remember you as the actor the “FAST AND THE FURIOUS ACTOR” I dont know you in person but Im heart broken I could’nt believe it



  6. TANIA MOLLER says:

    You were a great actor!! Im broken

  7. Bjorn says:

    Write a Crash + “reconstructive surgery” scene, then enter Charlie Hunnam as “new look” Brian O’Connor = the franchise lives on…

  8. Paul Aiden says:

    Close the franchise not cancel Fast 7- The director’s choice

  9. When i heard about this i was shocked and almost did not belive it untill i kept hearing it on my PS3 while playing GT5. it is a shame about what happen and everytime i see anything about it i feel sadden by it. it almost feels like i knew him for ever and i never met him i am a big fan of fast and Furious and never missed a movie i only hope that they keep it going that is what he would of wanted he will be missed in my family and i wish his family the best along with everyone who knew him as his fan i wish it would of never happen but it makes me thing that our life is short and you never know when and how you will go

    RIP Paul we all miss you and I know you are in a better place and you will be in every fans heart

  10. rgold02 says:

    Rest in Peace to both people who perished in this terrible accident.

  11. B says:

    The fast franchise is over, there is no more of the franchise without paul walker he was the face of the franchise just as much as vin diesel and the rest of the fast family. Fast 7 should either be the final in the series in memory of him and then nomore after this, or just cancel fast 7. No one can fill in his role for the movie, no one can play brian O’Connor and have that chemistry in the fast family like he did. Universal studios please go with these two options, make fast 7 the final then close the franchise out of respect for paul, or cancel fast 7.
    R.I.P Paul walker you were my hero when I was younger, I looked upto you.

  12. RIPPAUL says:

    roger rodas is a professional race car driver, yes he is at fault here, but lets not jump to ridiculous conclusions that he couldn’t handle the porsche gt when he is a professional driver.

    • easyrider says:

      apparently he couldn’t handle the car. Professional dont mean anything. You can have $ to fund a race team and still be absolute crappy driver.

      Money dont buy skills. Thats the bottom line.

  13. Jake says:

    His best performance is in the movie Running scared.

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