Universal Pictures has shut down production of Fast & Furious 7 following the weekend death of star Paul Walker, with one report even indicating the studio might scrap the film entirely and start again from scratch.
“Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul’s immediate family and our extended Fast & Furious family of cast, crew and filmmakers,” the studio said in a statement. “At this time 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. We are committed to keeping Fast & Furious fans informed, and we will provide further information to them when we have it. Until then, we know they join us in mourning the passing of our dear friend Paul Walker.”
The 40-year-old actor was killed Saturday in Los Angeles, while the production was on Thanksgiving break, in a car accident that also took the life of his business associate Roger Rodas.
Although filming of Fast & Furious 7 was halfway complete, TheWrap reports many of Walkers key scenes remained to be shot. But Deadline suggests Universal’s delay, which will likely stretch beyond the end of the year, goes well beyond rewrites: Walker wasn’t merely one of the franchise’s stars, he was incredibly popular on set, described as “the kind of guy who knew the names of everybody on the crew.”
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