Fast And Furious on hold over crash

4 December 2013
Fast And Furious on hold over crash

Production on the film Fast And Furious 7 has been put on on hold following the death of its star Paul Walker in a fiery car crash.

Shooting had been scheduled to resume this week in Atlanta, Georgia. A spokesman for Universal Pictures would not say when it would resume.

Production on the latest instalment of the franchise began in September. A large portion of the film has been shot, but it is still incomplete.

It is due for release on July 11, a date that could be difficult to meet with any lengthy delay. Universal Pictures is expected to go forward with the film, but it has not announced how it will adjust the movie or handle Walker's unfinished performance.

The franchise, which has starred Walker in all but one film, is particularly lucrative for Universal. Fast And Furious 6, released in May, was the highest grossing film in the series, earning more than 788 million dollars (£483m) worldwide.

The manner of Walker's death - a car crash in a speciality sports car - was also so reminiscent of the films that made him famous that Fast And Furious 7 will be under particular scrutiny for how it portrays the fatal risks of street car racing.

Universal is to donate a portion of the proceeds from the upcoming DVD, Blu-ray and digital release of Fast And Furious 6 to Walker's charity, Reach Out Worldwide.

Walker, 40, founded the charity in 2010 to give first-response aid to victims of natural disasters. He was hosting a fund-raising event on Saturday afternoon when he and fellow fast-car enthusiast Roger Rodas went for a ride in Mr Rodas' 2005 Porsche Carrera GT and were killed in the crash north of Los Angeles.

Walker's family has also asked that donations be made to Reach Out Worldwide (www.roww.org ) in lieu of flowers or gifts.

Meanwhile police investigators are examining the cause of the crash. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says witnesses described the car "travelling alone at a high rate of speed" before the Porsche smashed into a lamppost and tree, then exploded in flames.

On Monday, a private memorial for survivors and the cast and crew of the Fast And Furious movies was held inside a white tent erected around the crash site in Valencia. When it was over, Walker's co-star Vin Diesel emerged to thank fans for paying their respects to the actor.

Walker left behind two completed films that will be released.

He stars in the upcoming Hurricane Katrina drama Hours, which Lionsgate's Pantelion Films will release on December 13 in limited cinemas and on video-on-demand, as previously planned. Walker is a producer on the film, something he had not previously done.

Walker also stars in Brick Mansions, a remake of the French action film District B13 that Relativity plans to release early next year.

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