Following up on yesterday’s news that Fast and Furious 7’s release date has been pushed back to April 10, 2015 comes a very vague but notable update on the plot of the new film, which not only indicates that Paul Walker's character will be a part of the movie, but that Walker himself will remain a lead. In the wake of Paul Walker’s tragic death late last month, it’s been unclear how the Fast & Furious franchise would proceed without one of its leads. While that still remains more or less a mystery, Universal is now confirming that Walker will be a part of the cast returning for the seventh film.
According to Deadline, Universal’s exact wording is, "Continuing the global exploits in the franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead the returning cast of Fast & Furious 7…" This update comes just a day after Vin Diesel announced that the film’s release date, which was originally scheduled for July 2014, was now re-set for April 10, 2015. The post (below) has since been shared on the official Fast & Furious Facebook page, and includes a photo of Diesel and Walker in the last scene they filmed together…
Deadline’s article also notes that Universal has formally confirmed the April 2015 release date. While the site doesn’t elaborate further on how much of a presence Walker will have in the film, the fact that Walker was named specifically — and not merely his character Brian O’Conner — suggests that at least some of the footage obtained during the original movie’s production will be used for the revised version, which will presumably find a way to bring closure to Brian’s character. At this point, all we can do is speculate, as it remains unclear just how much the film’s plot will be altered from what was originally planned. There have been reports that Walker’s brother Cody might step in to play Brian in F&F7, and that could still be the case for part of the movie.
Deadline makes no mention of Cody Walker in their article, so it doesn’t look like there’s an update on that situation right now. What the site does say is that production, which was halted after Paul Walker died in a car accident, is expected to start up again early next year. James Wan is on board to direct, taking over the franchise from Justin Lin, who directed the 2009 Fast & Furious, as well as Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6.
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Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.