By Jay Ramey, Crain News Service
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 27, 2013) — Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker will headline the seventh "The Fast & the Furious" film, Universal Studios announced recently, in an apparent confirmation that the late star's footage shot prior to the Thanksgiving break will be saved.
Shortly following the deaths of Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas in a car crash, production of the seventh installment in the franchise shut down. A little over a week later, reports had surfaced that the studio was studying ways to incorporate the already filmed footage with Mr. Walker into a rewritten screenplay for the film. Despite Mr. Walker's death, Universal Studios has decided not to abandon "The Fast & the Furious" franchise.
"Continuing the global exploits in the franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead the returning cast of 'Fast & Furious 7,' which will be released by Universal Pictures on April 10, 2015. James Wan directs this chapter of the hugely successful series, and Neal H. Moritz and Vin Diesel return as producers," Universal Studios said in a statement.
At the time of Mr. Walker's death, approximately half of his scenes had been filmed, though the studio decided that production could not be completed based on the original script without Mr. Walker.