‘Fast & Furious 7′ Production Might Restart From Scratch [Updated]

Published 8 months ago by , Updated December 4th, 2013 at 10:29 am,

Paul Walker Close up Fast Furious 6 Close up Fast & Furious 7 Production Might Restart From Scratch [Updated]

The tragic death of Paul Walker this weekend shocked the world and Universal Pictures pushed the pause button on the production of Fast & Furious 7 to give family, friends and everyone time to mourn the loss. The film hadn’t come close to finishing its scenes with Walker and now the director James Wan and co. have the challenging task (on several levels) of working around the unfortunate circumstances.

There’s no right answer to the question of how to tell the originally planned story of Fast & Furious 7 without Walker, let alone writing him out of the franchise in a way that’s appropriate for all parties.

We know the studio, Wan and the producers are meeting to figure out how to proceed with the fast-tracked sequel. According to insiders informing The Wrap, since the big budget production is insured, one of the options in consideration is scrapping most or all of what has been shot  - even though they’re already over half-way done – and starting from scratch with a new story.

Their sources also offer conflicting information on the options of whether or not they’d write out Walker’s Brian O’Conner character entirely or find some way to use elements of the footage they have and write around it. There’s also conflicting word on when Universal will come to a decision but all seem to agree that they’re not rushing into anything.

At this point it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that FF7 will be able to meet its scheduled release date in July 2014 and if it comes down to re-shooting most or the entirety of the film, it’s one of those rare cases where we can expect everyone involved to do whatever it takes to make it work. That means if actors need to rearrange schedules for other projects and the film gets delayed, that may be necessary and there could be a industry ripple effect from the ensemble cast outwards.

In the meantime, Universal Pictures is donating proceeds from home video sales of Fast & Furious 6 to Walker’s Reach Out WorldWide charity group. As for the bigger picture of the series, its once clear and bright future, with additional sequels already confirmed, is now a little cloudy.

[Update as of December 4, 2013 from Universal]

“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.   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.”

Fast & Furious 7 is currently set for July 11, 2014 release.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: The Wrap

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  1. Universal Pictures I salute you. Impressive behaviour in a difficult time.

  2. I think releasing a version of F7 without Walker would be a mistake. At least have some scenes with him in it. If they have to take a portion out to make the story make sense logically, so be it. But doing it without Walker’s O’Connor? Idk.

    RIP Mr. Walker.

    • +1 to this. It would be like snuffing out the last light he was leaving behind. Im sure they could twist an already shot scene into having his character perish. Then they would be able to do an on screen memorial for him even if for 5 minutes.

      I think if they release it without him at all alot of people would be upset since they want him to be honored.

    • I agree! They should…they MUST incorporate whatever they’ve got in FF7… It’s his final movie and should be his testament to the series. Completely starting from scratch would ruin everything. Imagine they had cut the Joker from TDK. I know it’s not the same since almost everything had been shot at the point of Ledger’s death, but Walker has to be part of FF7…somehow…be it flashbacks using new footage or even incorporating O’connor’s death in the movie…

      It’s been often deemed tasteless to argue about such things against the background of a real-life death but I disagree. Thousands of people die every hour and most of them are only remembered by a very small group of people. Movie stars are “blessed” with being remembered by millions but only through the eyes of movie fans. Movies are their legacy and we can only say goodbye to them as movie stars, not people we really know personally. So the fate of their onscreen characters matter a lot to us…it’s natural, it’s perfectly sensible to focus on that sort of remembrance…

      James Dean, Heath Ledger and Paul Walker will always be with us through films. That’s why these films are pivotal to their lives and deaths…

    • I think they should almost just pause the film half way through or at the beginning, explain to the audience about Paul Walker’s death. Have a short mini film in memory of him and then explain to the audience that his character will no longer appear, or be played by someone else for the remainder/unfinished parts. Just, for a change, drop the pretense and not worry about continuity.

      Respect what was shot. I’m sure Paul Walker would have wanted it that way. I know it is terrible, and there is no easy way around it for anyone, but scrapping everything so would be a real shame. Paul’s fans would like his last screen appearance to count I am sure.

  3. This is a big mistake. Leave the scenes he did, and write him out. You finish this movie & make it bigger than ever to honor him, and his legacy. Please do not start over from scratch. R.I.P. Paul

    • Exactly. They should write a scene that’ll retire the character and then use stock footage from his previous films along a body double to proceed.

  4. Some fans think that they should use whatever footage they can fit together and have a scene of Dom explaining that Brian, Mia, and their new born child fled into hiding since Statham’s character is out for revenge. After all, Mia did get kidnapped in Fast 6, so Brian is worried it could happen again. Then the problem is that they have built the Dom, Brian, and crew relationship for a while and the whole emphasis on family and being there for one another. So regardless it is a sticky situation.

  5. I think they should not start over, Walker has shoot few scenes before his death. They don’t have to reshoot at the beginning, have Walker appear in the film in a few sequences as his last Movie. RIP Paul, you’re destined to be Great…..

  6. It’s a bit cliche to say, but the show must go on. I find it a bad move to start all over and you’re half way done filming. You think The Crow start over from scratch because Brandon Lee past away? How about The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus when Heath Ledger died and did they start over? No. Yeah it’s very tough when this situation happens in films. But you got to figure out what is the plan for the movie, don’t start over. Honor Paul Walker for the performance he did, don’t write out his character from the movie. I don’t know what’ll they do, but this how I actually feel about this topic.

    • But those are very different cases. Imaginarium was a fantasy film, which allowed Gilliam to use different actors to fill out the role. The Crow was almost completely finished when Lee died. I’m not saying they should cut Walker’s stuff, but we obviously don’t know what they have and don’t have. It might be much more difficult than we realize.

  7. They should write a scene that’ll retire the character and then use stock footage from his previous films along a body double to proceed.

  8. It does look they are handling the situation well and cautiously, but the one thing that bothers me is how it took Walkers death for them to donate the money to his charity. For all i know they could already have donated to it but that’s not what it sounds like

  9. O man.. dont cut him out.. use what you got… For him and for the fans… Im sure he would be pleased to know that his last movie was fast 7…. Do what you have to do to keep him in the movie… James wan can do it…. That guy is like human duck tape for movies… He can make anything happen.. watch the behind the scenes stuff for saw… He did a lot w/o the actors even there… Please respect paul and dont get rid of his stuff

  10. I’d suggest… recast Brian and restart production for 2016 release.

    • I doubt they’re even considering recasting. I doubt Vin and co. would be down for that.

    • It might be a good time to do a spinoff of Dwayne Johnson character with Vin Deisel. If they decide to do a recast, Chris Pine is my choice. R.I.P. Paul Walker.

  11. Hopefully they’re able to use at least some of the scenes he filmed. I wouldn’t want his character scrapped completely from the story and I think most fans would like to see him in the role one last time, even if it’s just for a few scenes.

  12. just give him an off screen death or have a character say that he retires from it all and if off someplace safe with his wife and kid (movie of course). there problem solved -.-

    • I am all for this solution. Don’t kill off the character – just let him ride off into the sunset.

  13. Don’t restart the movie. Give Walker an injury where he has to sit out the rest of the film. Then recast for Fast 8. It was done on Spartacus and we have seen recasting in Iron Man 2.

  14. I’ll be brutally honest and say that I do not think they should re-work the film. I think that, if they did, they would run the risk of making the film look to disjointed (they’ll be trying to write the script to fit Walker’s scenes) and that will take away from the quality of the end product.

    What I would hope they do, purely to still get the best film they can (and do justice to Walker’s portrayal), is leave all his scenes as they are, and amend what script they have after his final scene to account for his disappearance.

  15. I still cant even watch any of Paul movies, it is so hard 4 me to make peace with this. I cant imagine how hard it must be 4 family and friends to shake it all off and do it to the end.

  16. It is impossible to tell from here what the appropriate action is. Most movies do not shoot scenes in the order that they occur on screen, so it could be that Universal has a lot of middle or end with no beginning shots, in which case having him not be around in the beginning and then just suddenly popup as if he has been there all the time would be quite a jolt.

    Also, I am against body doubles. That isn’t him, and so it shouldn’t be pretended that it is for the sake of working him in to the movie. Either what they have can be worked in to a sane narrative, or they should restart.

  17. Walker said he identifies more with the Brian character and likes it when a lot of fans call him that. I don’t think it would be distasteful to kill the character off in a similar way to his actual death. A “tribute” of sorts. Based on everything I’ve read about him things he’s said about the character, I feel like he would have requested that had he known.

    It’s not like they don’t have plenty of green screen footage of him in a car from the other 5 that he’s in they can recycle anyway.

  18. I never was to fond of Brian O’Conner. Since in the last film they were already retired and only came back to rescue Letty, I think it would work if they do not include the character at all. And explain that he went away with Mia and the baby.

    And showing that every character had retire as well, I mean, Han to Tokyo, Dom with Letty to their old house, etc. Because of the last scene in Tokyo Drift I think it would work if Dom was the only one Traveling to Tokyo to avenge Han. He would obviously travel with Letty. And Hobbs would be there too, as he continue his investigation of Shaw and his brother. Depending on how the story goes then they can introduce an excuse to bring in Roman as the second driver behind Dom since Brian doesn’t want anything to do with that life anymore.

    Just my opinion as a fan of this series since day one.

  19. How about they just stop making those horrible movies problem solved

  20. Just don’t do what they did with Game of Death. It was awesome seeing Bruce Lee in his final fight scenes in a film (they were some of his best), but they didn’t have enough footage to make a film and it really showed.

    Pasting a picture of still his face over another actor’s face? Really? Even with today’s CG tech I don’t think they can do that realistically, but I guess we’ll see if they try.

    • Check out Oliver Reed in Gladiator and Armie Hammer in Social Network. This is actually done fairly often, but nobody notices because it looks far better than you would think.

      • Well, the Hammer situation is different; he was still alive and could do both parts. Wasn’t Oliver Reed in the shadows in his scene? I gotta look at it again to see if it’s noticeable, because with Walker everyone is going to know that he died and will be looking to see how they do it.

        • Yeah, but they still CGId Hammer’s head on. The Oliver Reed part was CGI made from composit footage of him. I’m not exactly sure how they did it, but I’ve never been able to tell. It’s rumorued to have cost them about $3 mil.

          I’m not saying they should complete the movie with him CGId in. I think that would be about as respectful as making a Weekend at Bernie’s spin off with Paul. I’m just saying they have enoug stock footage and green screen footage of him to craft a respectful exit for his character. The Oliver Reed situation is actually a really good example, because they also treated that as a sort of homage to him.

          • Right they can CGI his head on, but they could film his head in exactly the right way for the needed scenes. That’s why I don’t think it’s the same.

            The Reed situation is closer, and if they can use existing footage to do it somehow (instead of making a CG version of his head) then that might work. I’d just be interested in seeing how they’d try, and if it’s noticeable.

            The Game of Death way (with a double) was really bad because it was obvious that it wasn’t him.

          • Interestingly, they also did this with the latest Hobbit film when one of the actors playing a dwarf had to leave but had already shot some scenes. They pasted the face of the new actor over the face of the old one in at least one scene.

  21. I still can’t believe it. :’(

  22. Scrapping the footage would be disrespectful to him. I say just review the footage he shot, determine which ones they need, find a point to write in his death, and go from there.

  23. This is a bad idea.

  24. this sounds wornout because i have said it already but the best way to respect paul
    walker is to make this the last film in the franchise. i think if vin diesel feels strongly about walker as his brother, he should just come out and say fast 7 is it.

  25. They should use his footage they have and they could easily film a scene with his car crashing. Then they should show a funeral for his character and it would be a real life tribute.

  26. Just found out that Mr Paul walker had made a visit to my job this past summer. Really wished I had had the opportunity to met him. Devastating news. Think it will be a long time before any of us get over his death. R.I.P SIR.

  27. They shouldn’t start from scratch. The stuff he shot needs to be in the film. Just make it the final film in the series.

    Agh, its all easier said than done.

  28. Paul Walker’s character has to remain in the the movie since he (along with Vin’s character) are the the most important characters to the franchise and the plot of every Fast film. If I am not mistaken, doesn’t Paul have a twin brother ? If possible, then the studio should try to persuade him to take on his brothers role.

  29. in his honor dont make fast 7

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