Ever since the tragic death of franchise star Paul Walker, the future of Fast & Furious 7 has been uncertain. With six to eight weeks left to shoot, producers have been forced to find a way to retire Walker’s pivotal character from the franchise. Now, it seems that they’ve come to a decision on how to proceed as Universal has announced that there are plans to resume production “on or near” April 1 of this year.
Walker left behind him plenty of footage, but had not yet filmed a number of key scenes. How to best retire his character and complete the film has occupied director James Wan and screenwriter Chris Morgan for the better part of several months. Options have included scrapping the film altogether, bringing in Walker’s younger brother to complete the scenes, or editing the existing footage to write Walker’s character Brian O’Connor out of the remainder of the film. The script has now been altered to both use existing footage of Walker and add new scenes to give the story a new direction.
While it’s a sad state of affairs that forces Wan and Co. to eliminate Walker’s character, it appears that the choice has been made not to kill him off, instead opting to retire him from the franchise. This seems like an appropriate decision, and means that Fast & Furious 7 will pay less of a tribute to Walker’s death and more to his contribution to the franchise. Keeping his part alive while working around his death seems the most fitting way for him to go out.
The plan remains for Fast & Furious 7 to hit theatres on April 10, 2015, which gives Wan ample time to finish filming and the undoubtedly arduous editing process.
What do you think of the potential re-direction of Fast & Furious 7? Do you think it will work, or should they have opted for a total reshoot? Let us know in the comments below.