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  1. #1
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    Fast and Furious 7

    Paul Walker's death to delay film, but not cancel it

    From Hollywood Reporter

    The movie was on hiatus for Thanksgiving when Walker died in a car crash Saturday; Universal brass held a meeting Sunday morning to discuss the fate of the film.

    Universal and the team behind Fast & Furious 7 are facing a delay in production following the tragic death of actor Paul Walker, but sources say the movie will not be abandoned entirely.

    Walker, along with the rest of the cast and crew of Fast 7, had been scheduled to return to Atlanta on Sunday to resume shooting the big-budget film, which features extensive car racing. Those plans are on hold until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest.

    Director James Wan and Universal executives held a conference call Sunday morning to discuss the state of the film, whether rewrites would be necessary and how to proceed in a manner that would be respectful to Walker's death. Walker, 40, was a favorite on the set of the Fast movies, and his death has left his fellow stars, including Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, and the crew devastated.

    Fast 7, which was well underway shooting in Atlanta, was on hiatus for the Thanksgiving holiday. Walker had returned to Southern California when the limited-edition Porsche he was a passenger in crashed Saturday afternoon in Valencia, bursting into flames. The driver has been identified as Roger Rodas, a well-respected financial adviser and the CEO of Walker's company Always Evolving (the duo met because of their shared passion for cars).

    Walker was reprising his role as Brian O'Conner in Fast 7. The seventh film in the racing-centric action franchise is slated to hit theaters July 11. The film is on an expedited schedule in order to make that release date (Justin Lin, the director of previous installments, bowed out in part because he didn't want to work on the speedy timeline), so any delay in production could impact that release date. In addition, marketing Fast 7 could pose a challenge, considering Walker died in a crash of a flashy car similar to those used in the movies.

    Insiders say a large part of the film had been shot, although in January, Walker and the rest of the Fast 7 team were scheduled to travel to Abu Dhabi to film additional scenes.

    "All of us at Universal are heartbroken," a studio spokesperson said in a statement Saturday night. "Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast and Furious films, and to countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul's family."

    The studio declined to comment on the future of Fast 7.
    Our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us. - Matthew Mcconaughey - Interstellar

  2. #2
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    Revised release date - 4/10/2015


    Pic from the set of FF7

    Vin Diesel took to Facebook to share a never-before-seen picture from his final scene with his fallen friend from the set of "Fast & Furious 7," and also announced the sequel's new release date:

    "Fast and Furious 7 will be released… April 10th 2015!" he declared before adding, "P.s. He'd want you to know first…"

    Universal released an official statement that confirmed both Diesel's announcement, as well as the fact that the late Walker will still have a prominent role and share top billing.

    "Continuing with the global exploits in the franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead the returning cast of 'Fast & Furious 7,'" the studio announced.

    Fans of Diesel, Walker and the "Fast and Furious" series reacted positively and emotionally to Vin's post, which has already drawn over 1 million likes and 22,000 comments.

    There is definitely something eerie about the shot. The actors wear solemn expressions and appear to be captivated by a reddish light — that could be a blaze — off-screen. Still, there is a certain camaraderie that shines through.

    "The last scene we filmed together," Diesel explained. "There was a unique sense of completion, of pride we shared… in the film we were now completing… the magic captured… and, in just how far we've come."

    Co-star Ludacris was quick to echo Vin's sentiments, sharing his news via Instagram. "As #TeamPW promised, we want to keep you updated on Paul," he wrote. "For all the @fastandfuriousmovie fans who have been asking, #VinDiesel just announced #FF7's new release date."

    While Universal always intended for "Fast & Furious 7" to roll on following Walker's Nov. 30 death, insiders told Yahoo Movies there were several factors at play in determining how filmmakers would proceed.

    Shooting had been under way since September, but there were several scenes with Walker that had not been filmed. According to sources involved in the film, about two-thirds of the script needed to be rewritten to accommodate Walker's loss. In the days after his death, production was shut down immediately, and the original release date of July 11, 2014 was scrapped. Meanwhile, writers and the film's brain trust (studio execs, producers, director James Wan, and Diesel, in consultation with Walker's family) scrambled to come up with the best option to revamp the film in a manner that would be respectful to the late star.

    So, while Walker's death continues to sadden fans, at least now they know (definitively) that in the spring of 2015, they will get the chance to ride with him one last time.

  3. #3
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    Paul Walker character to be "retired"

    Source: Hollywood Reporter

    Sources tell THR that Walker's character, Brian O'Conner, will not be killed off in the film, now set for release April 10, 2015.

    Instead, the plan is to "retire" the character in a way that the studio hopes will satisfy fans of the franchise and make use of the existing footage of Walker, who died about halfway through the Fast 7 shoot.

    In the weeks after the tragedy, director James Wan, writer Chris Morgan and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, Universal's lead executive on the Fast films, pored over the footage Wan had shot. The trio then devised a plan to tweak the existing script so that Walker would remain a part of the story but could be written out, allowing the franchise to continue without him.

    The changes will require some additional scenes to be written and shot, but the eight-month delay of release provides plenty of time.

    Universal declined comment.

  4. #4
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    Fast 7 wraps production!

    Fast & Furious 7" wrapped production this past weekend, marking the closing notes on a project that's remained bittersweet in the wake of co-star Paul Walker's death last November. The cast has taken to social media over the months to memorialize Walker and celebrate the set's familial nature, and July 12's Hollywood wrap party was no different.

    Franchise veteran Tyrese Gibson took to Instagram to document the shindig. He posted a photo with director James Wan and Walker's brothers, Caleb and Cody, who were brought on to "fill in small gaps" in the CGI work needed to complete Paul's scenes.

    Gibson captioned the photo, "#Fast7 Wrap Party........ Emotional and bittersweet..... In the end you always got #Family @codyWalker Caleb Walker and Director Great.... James Wan...... Through prayers and determination and moving forward inspired by my heart Paul Walker we got through..... The BEST CAST AND CREW IN THE WORLD.... The fans and supporters around the world... We LOVE YOU...... I wanna dedicate this moment to my niece Meadow Walker.... Uncle Ty loves you..... April 3rd the were gonna unleash this magic on the world................ I miss you heart.... I miss you P-Dub!!!!"

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