Universal has made the decision to retire, as opposed to killing off, Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner character in Fast & Furious 7 after the actor passed away in November of last year. Director James Wan and writer Chris Morgan have tweaked the screenplay so that the franchise can continue.
The studio plans to use the footage that Paul Walker already shot prior to his death in a car accident during Thanksgiving weekend. Since the accident, talks of how to move forward have continued, with a resolution finally decided upon.
The studio and the filmmakers have worked hard to figure out a way to let Brian O’Conner ‘walk off into the sunset’ in such a manner that it will both please fans of the franchise and honor the spirit of Paul Walker.
In the past few weeks, James Wan has poured over the existing footage with his creative team, devising a way to properly utilize Paul Walker’s last on screen performance. Along with Universal’s lead executive on the series, Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, the trio was able to rewrite portions of the existing screenplay so that Brian O’Conner could still be a major part of the story. Their new plan will also allow for the franchise to continue with more sequels in the future.
These changes do require for additional scenes to be written and shot, but with the film being delayed by 8 months, the team now has plenty of time to finish the film properly.
Fast & Furious 7 comes to theaters July 11th, 2014 and stars Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Kurt Russell, Jordana Brewster, Lucas Black. The film is directed by James Wan.