‘Fast and Furious 7’ News: Casting, Changes, and Coping With Paul Walker’s Death

The latest images released from the production of Fast and Furious 7 show Cody Walker, Paul Walker’s brother, filling in for the late star on the set. Ecumenical News reported on the filming, giving details about how Walker’s death will affect continuity in the series and how his friends in the cast have reacted to his death and the process of finishing the film without him. The studio has apparently elected to retire Walker’s character, rather than to kill him in the series.

The news about progress on the Fast and Furious 7‘s production has been coming steadily this month, with this latest update following close on the heels of Vin Diesel’s revelation that Romeo Santos, the Latin American R&B singer, will be joining the series in the next installment. The movie star appeared during Santos’ performance at the Staples Center on May 22, where he walked onstage and made the announcement about Santos joining the cast for the seventh installment in the Fast and Furious franchise.

Santos will be joining a star-studded cast that also includes not only Diesel and the late Paul Walker, but Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, and Ludacris. The announcement follows a flurry of activity around the movie since director James Wan resumed work on the production in late March.

The production had been halted for several months before that as the cast, crew, and studio struggled to cope with the death of Paul Walker and the future of the Fast and Furious franchise without him.

Along with the emerging news about the resolution of Walker’s character and the release date for Fast and Furious 7 (April 10, 2015), Autoblog reported that Universal Studios is pursuing a $50 million insurance claim that will cover the additional costs incurred by the production. The Firemen’s Fund Insurance Company is currently in negotiations with the studio over the claim, which would be the largest ever of its kind if it was paid out in its entirety.

While the shooting has yet to wrap on Fast and Furious 7 and the fans will be waiting until 2015 for the next installment in the series, it does appear that Walker’s death will not be the end of the series. The clean resolution for Walker’s character and the studio’s existing plans to push the series into (and past) an eighth installment seem to be signaling that, despite the loss of a staple cast member, the show will go on.

[Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org]