In my write-up about Paul Walker’s death, I mentioned how I didn’t want to immediately start talking about the future of the Fast & Furious franchise because I thought it was crass. But executives at Universal didn’t have that luxury – they had a billion dollar franchise to think of, and some tough decisions to make.
Early on, there were discussions about the studio wanting to keep what they had already shot (director James Wan was reportedly more than halfway done with filming when Walker passed away), but now word comes out that they’re considering starting over from the beginning on this project. Financially speaking, the studio is covered by insurance, so they won’t be out of pocket for the millions they’ve already spent. Universal has put the film on hold indefinitely, and it’ll be up to Wan, the studio execs, and writer Chris Morgan to try to figure out the best way to move forward. Will they rewrite from scratch, or try to incorporate Walker’s death into the story?
The sequel was supposed to hit theaters in July of 2014, but there’s no way that’ll happen now. That’s fine with me – I appreciate the studio taking the time to handle this correctly and not push things to meet a pre-established release date. We often talk about the studios as being creatively bankrupt, but at least this decision shows they’re not heartless.
It’ll certainly be bittersweet, but I’ll be looking forward to seeing how Wan, Morgan, and the rest of the team come up with a proper send off for Brian O’Conner. In the meantime, Universal has put together a tribute video for Walker, and the earnestness that’s on display here is a great illustration of why this is one of my favorite franchises.
Latest posts by Ben Pearson (see all)
- Amy Adams to Play Janis Joplin in Biopic for Jean-Marc Vallée - November 21, 2014
- Channing Tatum to Make Directorial Debut on ‘Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock’ - November 21, 2014
- Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ Will Now Be Adapted As Four Movies - November 21, 2014
- Penelope Cruz Joins The Long-Awaited ‘Zoolander 2’ - November 20, 2014
- ‘Better Call Saul’ Gets A Premiere Date & A New Trailer - November 20, 2014