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Universal shuts down 'Fast & Furious 7' production indefinitely
By JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Universal Pictures has shut down production on "Fast & Furious 7" indefinitely following the death of its star, Paul Walker.

The studio announced Wednesday that the film will shut down "for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise."

The seventh installment of the street racing series had begun shooting in September. While much of "Fast & Furious 7" has been filmed, it's far from complete.

When Walker died in a fiery car crash Saturday north of Los Angeles, the film was on break for the Thanksgiving holiday. Shooting had been planned to resume Monday in Atlanta, but production was put on hold following Walker's death.

Universal had been trying to fast-track "Fast & Furious 7" for a July 11 release, a date that's likely to now be postponed. Universal hasn't yet announced any release date change.

Photos: Paul Walker through the years | Hollywood reacts to death

"Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul's immediate family and our extended 'Fast & Furious' family of cast, crew and filmmakers," the studio said in a statement.

Walker was killed by both the impact and subsequent fire when the high-powered Porsche driven by his friend crashed, according to autopsy results released Wednesday.

At the wheel was Roger Rodas, Walker's friend, financial adviser and co-owner of a professional racing team. The two died Saturday when Rodas' 2005 Porsche Carrera GT smashed into a light pole and tree, then exploded in flames.

Sheriff's investigators were still trying to determine what caused Rodas to careen out of control. They have said speed was a factor in the one-car crash about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Rodas was killed by the impact alone, the doctor who performed the autopsy for the Los Angeles County coroner's office concluded. Results of toxicology testing for drugs or alcohol will take another six to eight weeks.

The limited-edition Porsche was previously owned by IndyCar driver Graham Rahal, who has said it was difficult to drive. It is not just fast -- it can hit 100 mph in less than 7 seconds -- but also unforgiving in its handling.

Walker starred in all but one installment of the "Fast & Furious" franchise, which has been particularly lucrative for Universal. "Fast & Furious 6," released in May, was the highest grossing film in the series, earning more than $788 million worldwide.

Universal announced Tuesday that it will donate a portion of the proceeds from the upcoming DVD, Blu-ray and digital release of "Fast & Furious 6" to Walker's charity Reach Out Worldwide.

Walker, 40, founded Reach Out Worldwide in 2010 to give first-response aid to victims of natural disasters. Walker was hosting a fundraiser for the nonprofit on Saturday afternoon before the crash.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
70Comments
Dec 5, 2013 6:42AM
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A man died whom many people respected due to his car and race enthusiasm. I for one have a great deal of respect for him and his movies. Who cares whether or not he's an "A-list" actor. If he supported something many people loved he's going to get a lot of attention. I don't understand all the hate. He literally died leaving a charity, that he was hosting...


"If the speed kills me, don't cry, Because I was smiling"


RIP paul.

Dec 5, 2013 11:00AM
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No question about this; FF7 MUST go on with Paul Walker in it. Due to this amazing individual’s strong passion for the franchise and fast cars in and out of films.  It would be disrespectful to his memory to remove him from it. I think he would've wanted this way. I also think that Universal should in someway pay tribute to him in this final film and they should finished the film as he going away from this lifestyle and engaging in his now role as a father/family man or something of that nature; not have him die or replaced by another person playing his Brian O'Conner role. I was a BIG FAN of FF series and I feel since he was very much like his character in the movie; replacing him would be very lame and distasteful.  Hopefully Universal keeps it original and does not make this mistake.

 

R.I.P Paul Walker, Jr.

 

 

 

Dec 5, 2013 5:53AM
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just have Paul die in FF7. And Vin Diesel go after the people who killed him.
Dec 5, 2013 11:15AM
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Though everyone is entitled to their opinion, the negative remarks about a human being dying in such a horrific way, is a sad commentary on humans lack of empathy and compassion.  We, as a species, are in trouble.  Some of the posts are cold and dark, which says a lot about the person writing it.  Very, very sad.   
Dec 5, 2013 10:53AM
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Here's a thought.....how about how many people actually thought to click on "Yes, they "OWE IT TO THE FANS" option?!

 

Are all you people kidding yourselves? 41% of those who voted, actually think that the Fast and Furious team OWE something to them? This speask volumes about America...and how screwed up people here are.

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