‘Fast and Furious 7’!
When Paul Walker tragically died last November, the world mourned an actor who was not only a welcome screen presence, but a genuinely well-liked and respected guy. It was especially hard to hear the reactions of his 'Fast and Furious' franchise co-stars. This is a series all about friendship and family, so the loss of a key member of that crew hits hard. 'Fast and Furious 7' recently resumed shooting after an extended hiatus to rework the film and fans have been wondering how the production will work around the loss of a major character. Now, Universal hinted at a strange but touching solution.
Written as an open letter to 'Fast and Furious' Facebook fans, the studio's message acts as a tribute to Walker, praising his work in the film and confirming that the bulk of his "dramatic" scenes were shot. However, it drops a fascinating tidbit that may make even the toughest fans tear up a little -- Caleb and Cody Walker have been recruited to help finish their late brother's unfinished action scenes.
We heard that Universal and director James Wan were planning to use CGI to finish Walker's remaining scenes, but the involvement of his siblings just feels right. If they are going to CGI his head onto someone's body, it should be someone close to him. There's something callous about transforming a stuntman into Walker in post-prodcution, but the thought of these two standing in for their departed brother is touching. As the letter says, this is a saga about family. It's only appropriate for that to extend beyond what's on the screen.
Here's the full release:
A Note to the Fans of FAST & FURIOUS
The FAST & FURIOUS saga is about family. The characters are connected by the bond of family, and it is how all of us who have worked together for more than thirteen years feel about each other. It certainly defines how we feel about our fans.
Our family experienced an unthinkable shock in November. We had to take time to grieve Paul, the brother we love and lost, and to figure out if we should move on with our film.
We came together and all felt the only choice was to continue. We believe our fans want that, and we believe Paul would want that too. Paul had already shot his dramatic scenes and most of his action for FAST & FURIOUS 7, and it’s among the strongest work of his career.
We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our FAST family. Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.
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. It will allow the character of Brian O’Conner to live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role.
We wanted to take a moment to speak to our fans directly and thank you for the love and support you always show us as we resume our work.
'Fast and Furious 7' will hit theaters April 10, 2015.