Paul Walker’s death left his friends and co-workers on the set of Fast and the Furious 7 in a bit of a predicament. With about half of Paul’s scenes filmed, there were still some key action sequences that were not filmed before he died. That left producers with half a movie and no real idea of what to do with the footage they already had.
Weeks of tossing around ideas and consulting with the family have finally brought a solution. According to one report, Paul Walker will not die in the Fast and the Furious 7, but will retire from the business of driving fast cars. This has always been what fans have been leaning towards. The death of his character would have been too much for fans and his family. Not to mention, his friends on the set would struggle to deal with such an emotionally charged storyline. It is cathartic to think of Paul’s character, Brian O’Connor, as riding off into the sunset and living happily ever after with his wife and kid. It is obviously a fairytale version, but when reality sucks this bad, fairytales are completely cool.
This option will allow footage that was already shot with Paul Walker to be used in the film. It will probably be used as “remember when” sequences. Part of the process of trying to figure out what to do with the film was to look at every second of footage they had. What lines did Paul say? How could producers take very little and chop it up to make it fit with the new direction?
Thankfully, Hollywood is known for making us believe the unbelievable. There is little they can’t do in the movies with the help of CGI and a few stand-ins. Paul Walker’s younger brother may actually perform some of the stunt scenes as Paul. That rumor has not been confirmed as of yet, but it would be one way for the producers to add to the footage they already have.
Chris Morgan, the screenwriter for Fast and the Furious 7, will tweak the script to make up for Paul Walker’s departure. Scenes will be added to help make up for the ones that will have to be cut out. The film was pushed back eight months from its original release date to allow plenty of time for the writers to come up with a script that would pay homage to Paul as well as keep the story moving. So far, the cast has not returned to the set to resume filming since the Thanksgiving break when Paul died.
With this fairytale ending, the franchise will be able to continue without Paul. It is hard to say if Vin Diesel or the rest of the cast would even come back for another without their “brother,” but it would be one way to keep his memory alive. There would likely be plenty of “Oh I heard from Brian,” kind of lines throughout any additional installments. It will be interesting to see what the producers have planned. Make sure you take a box of tissues with you when you go see the film in April 2015.