In the wake of actor Paul Walker’s death, the fate of the production he left behind has been up in the air. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fast & Furious 7 was all ready well under way- yet no where near completed- when the actor suddenly perished in a car wreck in California on November 30. How much had been invested, exactly? The report claims that Universal had sunk $150 million into the production all ready. While that money is all insured, and a claim could be made- citing force majeure- to the film’s insurance company, it just shows far along into producing the film they’d gotten.
While it was reported last week that Universal could consider starting the entire production over again with a new story that writes off Walker’s character, the belief now is that they’re trying to find a way to salvage the current film while still offering him a fitting send-off. Writer Chris Morgan is the man tasked with revising the script, with hopes that production can resume by the end of January- according to the THR report.
With so many things now up in the air, one thing that we can confidently state is that the film will no longer make its July 11 release date. Universal, at one point, had been so adamant about reaching that date that it sped things up to the point where director Justin Lin left the production. But, alas, an inside source says it’s now safe to say that the film’s release has been delayed. Sources also claim that plans for future installments are still very much alive. A rival studio executive thinks the film will get a financial bump similar to The Dark Knight, following the untimely death of Heath Ledger. The unnamed exec told THR, “I actually believe [the tragedy] will add to returns.” When THR brought this quote to their source at Universal, they agreed. “Sadly, it will probably make people more interested.”
Universal, and the Fast & Furious 7 crew have a lot of work ahead of them. ”What will drive everything is, is there an honorable and sensible way to do this?” says a source, who then adds that “there’s not really a road map.”