As Paul Walker’s family, friends and fans mourn his unexpected and tragic death, Universal Studios has been left in a lurch. The actor was in the middle of filming the seventh installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise. He, along with the rest of the cast was on a break for the Thanksgiving holiday when he was killed in the fiery crash. Paul was scheduled to return to work this week to shoot some important scenes for the film. However, his death has left producers and studio execs with a crucial decision. Do they scrap the current script and leave Paul out of the movie or figure out how to work his death into the current version of the film.
As of now, production has been halted. Paul Walker’s role in the films is pretty important. While he was not in the second installment, his role has been key to carrying the films. Fans love Brian O’Connor. The studio must decide whether or not it would be a good idea to keep the few scenes already shot in the film or to delete them and start fresh. Obviously, fans want to see every minute of their hero doing something he loved.
The rest of the cast has expressed their grief over Paul Walker’s untimely passing. Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson have all revealed how shocked they were by his death and are not exactly keen to return to the set. It will certainly be strange for them to finish the movie as it was written considering one of the key players has been ripped away.
Universal Studios released a statement about the status of the movie, “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.” The film had been on the fast track in order to be ready for theaters in July of next year. Paul Walker’s death has made that an almost impossible feat. There will certainly have to be some rewrites, if not a complete redo. That will take time.
The other stars in the film will have tight schedules as well and getting the film actually made could prove very difficult. The press release stated the studio was essentially giving the co-stars and Paul Walker’s family time to mourn while they figured out what to do next. Right now, they maintain they have “half a movie shot,” and are really just trying to determine what would work best. Considering the nature of the films and the circumstances surrounding Paul’s death, it is certainly going to be difficult. Already, the franchise has come under fire for glorifying fast cars and dangerous driving. Now they have to decide whether or not it would be too callous to kill off Paul Walker’s character and if they do, how will it happen? A car crash is a little too close to home, but on the other hand it would show the dangerous, harsh reality of that kind of driving.