Tuesday, December 3, 2013

FAST & FURIOUS 7 Production Delayed Indefinitely

Following the tragic death of Paul Walker, fans were left wondering what would happen to the "Fast & Furious" franchise, specifically, the seventh installment directed by James Wan ("Saw", "The Conjuring"), which is still filming. The studio has announced that production has been delayed indefinitely until the filmmakers can figure out how to finish the film. According to The Wrap, Wan and Universal have not made any concrete decisions as to how the story or production should continue, or whether or not they can still finish in time for the release date of July 11, 2014.

It seems that the filmmakers have about 55 days of completed production, but "Fast & Furious 7" still requires an additional 25 days of shooting. Paul Walker was going to appear in many of the scenes left to shoot when the production was supposed to resume this week in Atlanta. After that, filming was going to continue in Abu Dhabi.

It's going to be an extremely difficult task to move this film forward, particularly because this is not a fantasy film that can find some outlandish way to deal with the death of a leading actor, like Terry Gilliam did with "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" after Heath Ledger's death. The producers have two choices here, either find a new actor for the role of Brian O'Conner, or write the character's death into the film. Either one is problematic. The first because it will probably anger fans and it's really quite impossible because they would have to film the whole thing all over again. The latter is also very difficult, because obviously a rewrite requires additional scenes to prepare for that plot point. Having a character's death happen off-screen is a very unsatisfying way to remove a protagonist from the story, and thus not a convincing addition to the film. Obviously, the studio is not going to scrap the movie because they're keen on recovering their costs, but I just don't see a very good way to continue the story. If James Wan and the writing team manage to move forward and deliver a movie that works, I believe they would deserve an Oscar.


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