While the world learns to live with the loss of Paul Walker, replacements continue to be named for his other film roles. The busy actor had been slated to appear in two other films that were not a part of the Fast & Furious franchise.
Reports at the time of Walker’s death on November 30, 2013 revealed that the popular actor had been signed to play the lead in the Hitman sequel Agent 47 . The 40 year-old film star would have been taking over the role of the bald, bar-coded assassin from Timothy Olyphant who had first brought the video game protagonist to life on screen.
The original film took in almost $100 million in worldwide box office sales even though critics almost universally panned it. The first movie was directed by Xavier Gens, but, the sequel will be helmed by commercial director Aleksander Bach in what will be his feature film directorial debut.
It has emerged that, among other replacements mentioned for the late Paul Walker, actor Rupert Friend has been tipped to take over as Agent 47 in the film. The Homeland star, who is continuing in his role as Peter Quinn in the popular television series, has been confirmed as the actor who will work on the film sequel based on a script written by MIchael Finch and Skip Woods.
Another film that Walker was meant to work in was the Relativity Media adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel The Best of Me. The script for the film, which is in pre-production, was written by the film’s director Michael Hoffman along with Will Fetters and J. Mills Goodloe. James Marsden is reportedly in “early talks” to take over Walker’s role and co-star with Michelle Monaghan in the film about two high school lovers who reunite in their hometown years after they broke up.
The Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues actor will be the second performer named as a replacement for the deceased Fast & Furious star. Relativity Media is connected with Fast & Furious 7 as well, which is now slated for a 2015 premiere after the death of Walker.
Walker’s popularity as franchise regular Brian O’Connor helped the actor become a star. His death after filming started on the latest in the series of fast car films caused Universal Pictures to rewrite the original script. The studio also, apparently, approached Walker’s “look-a-like” younger brother Cody to “double” for his late brother in an effort to complete the film without recasting for Brian O’Connor.
Recently the franchise’s star and producer Vin Diesel revealed that Universal Pictures had decided to keep Walker’s character in Fast & Furious 7 out of respect for Walker and to honor his contribution to the films and their success. While it has not been verified whether or not Cody Walker will step in to double for his late brother, fans were relieved to hear that the character of Brian O’Connor would still be in the latest movie.
It has not been revealed just how the script rewrite will deal with Walker’s character. Rumors have been circulating that Brian O’Connor will not be killed off in the franchise but, removed some other way from the film and future story lines. Paul Walker’s death resulted in a few vacancies in future films that he’d been cast in. Replacements continue to be named for his two other film roles and while Rupert Friend has been confirmed for Agent 47 James Marsden could still be ousted if talks break down on The Best of Me.
By Michael Smith