Paul Walker’s younger brother, Cody Walker, has recently been asked to appear in Fast & Furious 7 to help complete some of the film’s final scenes. The news was recently reported by the Daily Mail, indicating that Cody could be set to take his brother’s place for the latest high-octane iteration of the much-loved franchise.
Paul was tragically killed on Nov. 30, along with friend and business partner Roger Rodas, when traveling back to a charitable fundraiser for his nonprofit organization, Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW). The vehicle – a Carrera GT Porsche, driven by Rodas – reportedly careened off the road and slammed into a light pole, before bursting into flames.
The event led to an outpouring of emotion from friends, family and fans, alike. Tributes and charitable venues were held to commemorate the illustrious Takers actor, whilst mourning crowds congregated around the crash site.
Meanwhile, Universal Pictures suspended production of Fast & Furious 7, indefinitely, whilst the studio considered ways to move forward. The studio claimed it was their duty to put the big budget movie on hold and vowed to share some of the proceeds from the DVD sales of Fast & Furious 6 with the actor’s charity. Chairman of Universal Pictures Donna Langley had the following words to offer:
“We share in the deep grief of his family, friends and the countless fans who love him… We keep Paul’s memory alive and honor his legacy through continued support of Reach Out Worldwide, the nonprofit he founded to give hope to those who must rebuild after they have experienced natural disasters.”
Paul was on a break from shooting, over the Thanksgiving holiday period, before his accident. This prompted immediate talks between movie producers over how to proceed. According to the Daily Mail, a source close to the production team has reported on the conclusions of meetings between movie producers; ultimately, it appears they elected to search for someone who looked similar to Paul.
Describing Cody as “nearly identical” to Paul, the source briefly reflected upon the strategies that were in contention for future shooting:
“They can shoot Cody from behind and at distance and if it’s a shot they need Paul’s face in close up they can CGI it later on.”
25-year-old Cody Walker formerly worked as a stuntman on a number of movies. Although Cody currently resides in Oregon, he has been staying with his mother in Los Angeles, since the saddening departure of his celebrity brother.
However, a spokesperson for Universal Pictures also recently spoke to the newspaper, emphasizing the importance of providing Paul’s family and colleagues support; according to the spokesperson, this remains a priority the studio is “… dedicated to providing.”
Indeed, the morning after Paul’s tragic demise, executives at Universal held a conference call to coordinate their next steps. It is alleged that Ron Meyer, the vice chairman of NBCUniversal, promptly contacted a list of the star’s friends and family to offer condolences on behalf of the organization.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that screenwriter Chris Morgan is now feverishly working to revise the film’s script, in a bid to retire Paul Walker from the franchise using previously shot scenes. The magazine also reported, assuming Morgan is successful, the cast and crew could resume shooting as early as January of next year. Fast & Furious 7 director James Wan recently confirmed that production would resume at some point in the future.
However, in light of recent events, Fast & Furious 7′s previous July 11 release date has now been scrapped. As to be expected, a new release date is yet to be announced.
By James Fenner