I figured something like this might happen. Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner was a very important cog in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, second only to Vin Diesel, with the two actors and their characters oftentimes sharing the same screen. His death will leave a big hole in the storyline, with the fate of the series, along with the formerly in-production “Fast and Furious 7” hanging in the balance.
Universal recently announced the halting of production on the film, stating in a press release:
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.
Right now emotions are pretty raw, and I don’t expect to see Vin Diesel or anyone else in the cast just continuing on with production as if nothing has happened. My guess is, in a week or a month, things may change, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if massive, dramatic rewrites were made to the script to reflect Walker’s death.
I honestly have no idea how they can proceed with the movie in a way that won’t feel a bit ghoulish. They could, theoretically, add Walker’s Brian O’Conner to the bodycount of Jason Statham’s character. After all, the seventh part is set in motion when Statham kills a member of the team, resulting in the others seeking revenge. Still, though, that might hit a bit too close to home.
Whatever they decide, here’s a tribute to the actor that the “Fast and Furious” YouTube channel recently put out: