The nearly US$ 200 million production of Fast and Furious 7 has been suspended indefinitely following the loss of lead actor Paul Walker.
"Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul's immediate family and our extended Fast and Furious family of cast, crew and filmmakers. At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on Fast and 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 and 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," Universal said in a statement.
Paul Walker and friend Roger Rodas were involved in the fatal crash of a Porsche Carrera GT driven by Rodas. It was determined by the Los Angeles County Coroner that it was an accident; Walker succumbed to ‘combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries,’ while Rodas suffered multiple traumatic injuries. Both bodies were identified using dental records. It will still take six to eight weeks, when the toxicology result come in, to find out if either were DUI.
The movie was more than halfway through before Walker took the Thanksgiving holiday off and was scheduled to resume filming in Abu Dhabi. Aside from the loss of its main star and problems of whether to rewrite the entire script or simply change it midway, the studio is worried about the impact of Walker’s death in a sports car crash during a break in filming a movie about street racing.
The ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise is one of the most profitable of all time, having made more than US$ 2.3 billion worldwide. ‘Fast and Furious 7’ was set to be released July 2014.