How 'Fast and Furious 7' Will Handle Paul Walker's Character

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Universal

In the weeks following the tragic death of Paul Walker, Universal and the crew of 'Fast and Furious 7' have been forced to drastically course correct the direction of the blockbuster franchise. With little time to mourn and countless jobs and dollars on the line, sources reveal director James Wan, writer Chris Morgan and executive Jeffrey Kirschenbaum will gracefully "retire" Walker's Brian O'Conner from the series using footage already shot for the film.

The news comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which reports that the character of Brian won't be killed off or entirely removed from the film. Rather, the filmmakers will incorporate what they have already shot, script additional scenes and send him driving off into the sunset (maybe literally), giving him a fitting goodbye while allowing the lucrative franchise to continue with its remaining stars. Although Walker's straightforward and subdued (compared to the rest of the cast) presence will be missed, the series' deep bench of personalities should allow the films to continue for the foreseeable future.

For fans of Walker and the 'Fast and Furious' films, this sounds like the best possible solution. It would have been in bad taste to kill off Walker in the film (especially since his onscreen demise would probably mirror his actual death in a car accident), but it would have been a blow to his legacy if they cut him out of the film entirely. He will be missed, but co-stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson and everyone else will surely pick up the slack.

'Fast and Furious 7,' which was delayed for eight months for reshoots and rewrites, is currently set for an April 10, 2015 release.

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