When Paul Walker was tragically killed in a car crash last fall, filming for Fast & Furious 7 hadn’t been completed. But the late actor’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, were asked to step up and fill Walker’s shoes.
“The ‘Fast & Furious’ saga is about family,” noted the official announcement. “We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our Fast Family. (They) are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production.”
The team said that having the two men on set “made us all feel that Paul is with us, too.” Walker likely died instantly in the fiery crash on November 30, 2013, at 40 years of age. To be released in April 2015, the new movie will be the final installment of the Fast series.
“It will allow the character of Brian O’Conner to live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role …. [W]e wanted to take a moment and speak to our fans directly and thank you for the love and support you always show us as we resume work,” read the announcement.
The silver lining
The (thus far) six-film franchise looked like it would suffer greatly when Walker died because he’s been a leading character since the very first film. Production stopped after Walker’s death to give everyone time to grieve, but there another important detail to take address.
How could production move forward without one of the two main characters? Chris Morgan, screenwriter for the series, started massive re-writes in December 2013. No one else could guess what Walker’s character would face.
There were also murmurs that Walker had tied up numerous scenes prior to his death. It was unclear how much of that footage could be used.
The official Facebook statement says: “We are just under a year away from the release of ‘Fast & Furious 7,’ and this film is the most important we’ve ever done together.”
The grand finale
While it hasn’t officially been stated that this will be the last feature in the franchise, many would regard it as poor taste to produce any more in the series. Many believe that the reception of the final installment will provide a sense of how to move forward.
Some have even suggested that Walker’s brothers might be able to continue in the business. Much like the finishing touch on a home or the final dab of paint on a masterpiece, a grand finale requires a clear decision about when enough is enough.