Fast & Furious 7 is facing an obvious delay in production following the tragic death of Paul Walker, but will the 2014 action movie even be completed?
Walker, along with the rest of the cast and crew, was scheduled to return to Atlanta today to resume shooting the big-budget, car-themed blockbuster.
Those plans are on hold until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest, and given the way in which Paul Walker died, the hiatus could be much longer.
Director James Wan and Universal execs held a conference call this morning to discuss the state of the film, and whether any rewrites are necessary.
Moreover, the brain trust wants to make sure that if they proceed at all, they do so in a manner that would be respectful to Walker and his passing.
Walker, 40, was a favorite on the set of the Fast franchise, and his death has left crew and cast members, including Vin Diesel (pictured above), devastated.
He was reprising his role as Brian O’Conner in Fast & Furious 7, the seventh film in the racing-centric action franchise slated to hit theaters July 11.
The movie had been on an expedited filming schedule in order to make that summer release date, so any production delay would likely impact it.
Sources close to the production say that most of the coming week’s scenes centered around Paul, too, so there are obvious issues with the script as is.
Additionally, marketing Fast 7 could pose a major challenge, considering that the actor died in a crash of a flashy car similar to those used in the films.
Beyond the logistical issues, there is the collateral damage caused by the loss of the popular star, whose absence could be too great to overcome.
On that note, at least several notable members of the Fast cast and crew say that they won’t be returning to the set anytime soon, reports indicate.
Regardless of what Universal has in mind for a timeline or revised script, insiders say some of the main stars are “too distraught to work anyway.”
At the end of the day, the emotions of the cast and crew are the biggest hurdle. As one source put it, “No one wants to even think about the movie. Period.”
Regardless, given the outpouring of grief and love for Paul we’ve seen in the last 12 hours, it’s clear that his legacy as an actor and person will never be forgotten.