UPDATE: After much consideration, production on Fast & Furious 7 has been put on hold indefinitely. Studio executives held several consecutive days of meetings, and released the following statement earlier today: "Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul's immediate family and our extended Fast & Furious family of cast, crew and filmmakers. At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on Fast & Furious 7 for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise. We are committed to keeping Fast & Furious fans informed, and we will provide further information to them when we have it. Until then, we know they join us in mourning the passing of our dear friend Paul Walker." (The Hollywood Reporter)
While the rest of the world is still reeling over Paul Walker's tragic death, the team behind The Fast & The Furious has been forced to get down to business. Walker's passing leaves a hole in the hearts of his family, friends, and fans, but it also provides a very real complication for the franchise's seventh movie. Fast & Furious 7 is right in the middle of filming, which meant that producers had to have an emergency powwow in the hours after the star's death.
Sure, it may seem a little coldhearted to be thinking about movie profits at a time like this, but it's a job that somebody had to do. Fast 7 is on a strict timeline for its July release, and all of the options for continued filming just seem, well, even more insensitive than discussing them in the first place. According to The New York Times, Universal execs considered the possibilities of writing his death into the film, cutting his performance, and hiring another actor to take over his role.
No conclusion has been reached yet, partly due to the sad irony surrounding the action star's fateful crash. To go on with a movie that glorifies the very type of racing and car crashes that spelled his end would be challenging for both cast morale and the eventual marketing of the movie. Universal has yet to make an official comment on the future of the franchise, but we have faith they'll come to a satisfying decision. (The New York Times)