Could "Fast & Furious 7" soon be back on the road?
A report says that shooting on the Universal Pictures film will resume in April after a hiatus that began in December after the death of star Paul Walker.
Universal, director James Wan, writer Chris Morgan and producer Neal Moritz had been convening to work out how to continue the movie's narrative with only about half of Walker's scenes shot. A story in the Hollywood Reporter says shooting will begin around April 1 on the Atlanta set of the automotive action movie. A Universal spokeswoman did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
It is not clear how Walker’s character, the rogue former law-enforcement agent Brian O’Conner, will be written out of the movie -- though producers, after resolving a few months ago to retain Walker's character, have been set on having him phased out instead of taking a more morbid option.
Universal suspended production on the Atlanta set in December after Walker was killed in a single-car crash Thanksgiving weekend, saying in a statement that “we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on 'Fast & Furious 7' for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise.”
The movie's release date was later pushed back from July 2014 to April 2015. If shooting resumes in April it will probably continue into late May or early June, which would allow a reasonable 10 months for post-production and a marketing rollout.
Walker's death caused an outpouring of support among fans, and is expected to drive further interest in the franchise, whose last few installments topped the box office.