In the wake of the tragic car accident that took the life of Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas, the studio behind the upcoming Fast & Furious 7 — which is now months into production — faced some difficult decisions in how it would move forward after the death of one of the movie’s principal stars.
Production was halted immediately following the November 30 crash, throwing into disarray the planned July 11, 2014 release date. With initial questions surfacing about if they would have to completely start over on the film, now writer Chris Morgan is back at work rewriting the script. But how will Morgan and Universal handle the changes?
Walker had already shot about half of his character, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, making it difficult to easily dismiss the Brian O’Conner cop character from the movie, but also with so much footage in the can it would prove too bulky to sidestep him altogether. Plus, movies aren’t filmed in sequence, so the Walker-shot sections pop up across the board, minus the opening scene.
Universal remains hopeful the revisions are enough to bring everyone back together for a mid-January re-launch of production. The new Morgan work aims to use the footage of Walker, but also move his character—a lead and mainstay—gracefully out of the movie franchise altogether mid-movie, an obviously delicate situation that gets blurred by the business side of making movies.
Fans of the actor are certainly looking forward to the Dec. 13 limited release of Hours, a Walker-carried drama from director Eric Heisserer.
Heisserer took to Imgur to share his memories of working with Walker on the New Orleans-based set, the admiration he had for the actor and the laughs they shared. This touching tribute serves as a way for Heisserer to honor Walker even as the movie they made together starts to play.