The tragic death of Paul Walker in a car accident this past weekend has thrown into doubt the future of the wildly popular and profitable Fast and Furious film franchise, a series the late actor and car enthusiast played an enormous role in. Of the six films, Walker took the lead in five, playing Brian O'Connor, a former Los Angeles Police Department detective and FBI agent. Walker was in the middle of filming Fast and Furious 7 when he was killed.
The series, which has taken in $2.3 billion worldwide, according to a report by Variety, had been aiming to release its seventh installment on July 11, 2014. And while Universal, the studio responsible for the franchise, has not released a statement officially delaying the film, it remains unclear if the film's producers will still be able to deliver the movie on time with the death of their lead actor.
According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, the film was on hiatus for Thanksgiving when Walker was killed, but was originally slated to resume production in Atlanta on December 3. A meeting was held between studio execs at Universal and the film's director, James Wan, on Sunday to figure out how to move forward. It's believed that a large portion of the film has been shot, although Walker was slated, along with the rest of the cast, to film in Abu Dhabi in January.
In terms of filming, there's a lot more impacted by Walker's death than the seventh movie. Recently Walker sat down with Collider, and said that an eighth film was "guaranteed," and that the studio wanted future sequels, as well.
Unless Fast 7 can rebound from the loss of Walker - a tall order, considering his looming presence throughout the series - the future of those films is a very open question.