x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Fast & Furious 7 filming delayed after Paul Walker’s death

Shooting on the film had been scheduled to resume this week in Atlanta but was cancelled Monday and Tuesday. A spokesman for Universal Pictures declined to say when production will resume. 

A mourner looks at flowers and memorials at the car crash site that killed actor Paul Walker and another man, north of Los Angeles Nick Ut / AP Photo
A mourner looks at flowers and memorials at the car crash site that killed actor Paul Walker and another man, north of Los Angeles Nick Ut / AP Photo

Production on Fast & Furious 7 is on hold following the death of star Paul Walker.

Shooting on the film had been scheduled to resume this week in Atlanta but was cancelled Monday and Tuesday. A spokesman for Universal Pictures declined to say when shooting will resume.

Production on the latest installment of the franchise began in September. While a large portion of the film has been shot, the movie is incomplete.

It’s scheduled for release July 11, a date that could be difficult to meet with any lengthy delay. Universal Pictures is expected to go forward with the film, but it has not announced how it will adjust the movie or handle Walker’s unfinished performance.

The franchise, which has starred Walker in all but one installment, is particularly lucrative for Universal. Fast & Furious 6, released in May, was the highest grossing film in the series, earning more than US$788 million worldwide.

The manner of Walker’s death – a fiery car crash in a specialty sports car – was also so reminiscent of the films that made him famous that Fast & Furious 7 will be under particular scrutiny for how it portrays the fatal risks of street car racing.

Universal announced yesterday that it will donate a portion of the proceeds from the upcoming DVD, Blu-ray and digital release of Fast & Furious 6 to Walker’s charity Reach Out Worldwide.

Walker founded Reach Out Worldwide in 2010 to give first-response aid to victims of natural disasters. Walker was hosting a fundraiser for the nonprofit on Saturday afternoon when he and fellow fast-car enthusiast Roger Rodas went for a ride in Rodas’ 2005 Porsche Carrera GT and were killed in the crash north of Los Angeles.

Walker’s family also has asked that donations be made to Reach Out Worldwide in lieu of flowers or gifts.

Police investigators are examining the cause of the crash. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said witnesses described the car “traveling alone at a high rate of speed” before the Porsche smashed into a lamp post and a tree, and then exploded in flames.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said yesterday that it has completed autopsies on the two bodies recovered from the crash.

On Monday night, a private memorial for survivors and the cast and crew of the Fast & Furious movies was held inside a white tent around the crash site in Valencia. When it was over, Walker’s co-star Vin Diesel emerged to thank fans for paying their respects to the actor.

Walker is starring in two completed films that will be released.

He stars in the upcoming Hurricane Katrina drama Hours, which Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films will release December 13 in limited theatres and on video-on-demand, as previously planned. Walker is a producer on the film, something he had not previously done.

Walker also stars in Brick Mansions, a remake of the French action film “District B13” that Relativity plans to release early next year.

* Associated Press