Paul Walker’s final Fast & Furious film remains on course for a cinema release, despite the death of its 40-year-old star in a road accident on Saturday.
Sources told the Hollywood Reporter that production on Fast & Furious 7 would be delayed, with the shoot in Atlanta unlikely to resume until today or tomorrow at the earliest. There were no plans to abandon the film, for which Walker had shot the majority of his scenes. However, the cast were due to travel to Abu Dhabi in January for an additional shoot and the movie was likely to be delayed beyond its planned July 2014 release date.
The Atlanta shoot had been on hold for the Thanksgiving holiday. Walker, who played Brian O’Conner in the Fast & Furious films, had returned to southern California during the hiatus. He died on Saturday afternoon when the limited-edition Porsche he was traveling in crashed and burst into flames in Valencia, Santa Clarita. The driver of the vehicle has been identified as financial advisor and fellow car enthusiast Roger Rodas, CEO of Walker’s company Always Evolving.
Meanwhile, producers of another Walker film said they would be moving forward with the planned 13 December release of Hurricane Katrina drama Hours, described as a passion project for the actor. “After lots of back and forth, this is our decision. It’s Paul’s tour de force. He’s in every frame of the movie,” Paul Presburger of production company Pantelion told The Hollywood Reporter. “Paul would have very much wanted us to move forward. He was incredibly proud of this project. We did a press junket two weeks ago, and I remember sitting with him and how excited he was for people to see this movie. He was looking for something to showcase his acting skills, which he so rarely had the chance to do. He hit it out of the park.”
Walker’s co-star and friend Tyrese Gibson broke down in tears after visiting the crash site yesterday to place flowers. “Not just a family on camera – we’re a real family,” he later tweeted.
Co-stars Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel have also expressed their remorse online, the latter writing on Instagram: “Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace.”