At only 40 years old, and with a bright future still very much ahead of him, Hollywood is still reeling from the death of Paul Walker over the holiday weekend. While his films weren’t exactly Oscar contenders, the actor had a devoted following of fans, and by any account, he was one of the nicest, most selfless guys in the industry. But his passing does leave a question mark hovering over one of the biggest franchises in the world right now, and key part of Universal‘s slate.
Currently set for release next summer, “Fast & Furious 7” is now a bit up in the air. Barely 24 hours had gone by after Walker died when director James Wan, and Universal suits were on the phone on Sunday morning discussing how to proceed. THR reports that though “a large part of the film had been shot,” production was on a brief hiatus with filming to resume in Atlanta this week (obviously, things will be pushed back though how extensively is still unclear). And that’s not all, as more shooting was already planned to take place with the cast in Abu Dhabi in January.
And that’s not the only hurdle facing ‘Furious 7.’ Marketing the movie in which one of the lead actors died in a car crash could be tricky too, and we’d reckon Walker’s death will require a complete rethink of how this franchise is approached from an advertising angle. Obviously, Universal are keeping their internal talks under wraps for now as they figure out how to navigate this project, and to both save the movie while honoring the memory of Walker.
Meanwhile, Walker also has a couple more movies coming in post. One is “Brick Mansions,” which he shot this past summer, and the other is the Hurricane Katrina thriller “Hours,” which is slated to hit VOD and limited release next week… And the show will go on. The Wrap reveals that Pantelion will press forward with their plans to release the movie as scheduled (it already screen at SXSW earlier this year).
Lastly, Deadline has a pretty good roundup of remembrances of Walker from folks like director Wayne Kramer, Scott Caan, and more.