The future of the "Fast and Furious" franchise is uncertain following the untimely passing of one of its leading actors. Paul Walker's death has raised some questions on when the film will begin shooting again. The "Fast and Furious 7" release date was set for July 11, 2014, but may now be pushed back due to production delays. While the movie release may be postponed, sources confirm that the seventh "Fast and Furious" film will still come to fruition.
"Fast and Furious 7" production was on hiatus for Thanksgiving, set to return to Atlanta on Sunday to continue filming. Paul Walker, 40, died in a car crash Saturday in Valencia. Director James Wan and Universal executives met Sunday morning to discuss production plans, "whether rewrites would be necessary and how to proceed in a manner that would be respectful to Walker's death," The Hollywood Reporter reports.
About half of "Fast and Furious 7" has reportedly already been shot, though Walker was set to travel to Abu Dhabi in January to shoot extra scenes. The film was on a rushed schedule to make the July 11 release date, though with production delays, it's TBD if it will be pushed back.
"All of us at Universal are heartbroken," a studio spokesperson said in a statement Saturday night. "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 to countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul's family."
Paul Walker died Saturday afternoon in a car crash in Santa Clarita. He was riding in a limited-edition Porsche, akin to the showy cars in the "Fast" films. Reports indicate that the driver was Roger Rodas, a financial adviser and the CEO of Walker's company Always Evolving. Both he and Walker were killed when the vehicle was engulfed in flames, TV Guide reports.
Paul Walker portrayed Brian O'Conner in the "Fast and Furious" franchise. Most of the "Fast and Furious 7" actors are reportedly too upset to return to work. Many of his past and current co-stars have reacted over social media in the wake of Walker's death, including Vin Diesel and Jason Statham.
Impossible to register how deeply sad it is to loose such a great man. Rest in peace Paul.
— Jason Statham (@realjstatham) December 1, 2013
My heart is hurting so sad. Paul walker was a good man. RIP my friend... Sorry to the Walker family.
— Vin Diesel (@OffVinDiesel) December 1, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with Paul Walker and his family. — Lucas Black (@TheLucasBlack) December 1, 2013
Paul was pure light. I cannot believe he is gone.
— Jordana Brewster (@JordanaBrewster) December 1, 2013
All my strength, love & faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time. We find our strength.. in his light. Love you brother. — Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) December 1, 2013
Besides "Fast and Furious 7," Walker is also slated to appear in other future films. The late actor will next be seen in "Hours," a thriller centered around Hurricane Katrina. Walker portrayed a father struggling to save his newborn daughter in a hospital devastated by the storm."Hours" releases in limited theaters December 13. Walker also starred as an undercover cop in the forthcoming film "Brick Mansions," set to release in 2014.
"I have a way of just being ice, and just cooling situations and making things work. It's important to me. I've always taken it that way as an actor. I'm really sensitive too and it's as important to me. Life's too f****** short. What we're doing is pretty cool, but let's make sure we're having fun doing it. And it's important to me that people feel appreciated because that's when you get the best in people. Give people ownership, give them the pat on the back, give them the kudos they deserve," Walker told Indiewire in March. Read the full interview here.