Paul Walker died in a fiery car crash November 2013 and before the year was over, news was that Cody Walker would be filling in for his brother in Fast & Furious 7, now it looks like he is out. At least according to the latest reports from sources connected with the studio making the seventh film in the popular franchise.
In December 2013 while the world’s press were dealing with the many theories of conspiracy behind fan favorite Paul Walker’s death, rumors were rife that his stuntman brother, would be stepping into the part of Brian O’Conner. This particular rumor was never confirmed nor denied by the former stuntman in question or the studios.
What was confirmed, by sources, was the information that the studio had approached Paul’s lookalike brother with the idea of his filling in for some scenes that the late Walker had yet to film.
The studios took a long break from filming while funeral arrangements were made by Walker’s family and his co-stars and friends from the franchise had time to process the information that their colleague was dead. During this break media coverage reached new heights of frenzy as everyone, it seems, had an idea about why Walker died.
The 40 year-old actor died in a Porsche driven by his friend and partner Roger Rodas. The star had been attending a event in Valencia, California for his charity organization Reach Out Worldwide. The star got into the car with Rodas for a spur-of-the-moment quick spin and both men died when the car crashed and burst into flame on the way back to the charity event.
News that Paul Walker was dead was greeted by disbelief as the day before he died the actor had been part of an Internet death hoax. In December, Cody Walker was said to be chosen to fill in for Paul but now it looks like the former stuntman could be out.
Director James Wan (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring) and Universal Studios made statements to the effect that the storyline was being rewritten and that everyone involved with the project wanted to allow the footage already shot by Paul to be left in the film.
Stars of the Fast & Furious franchise publicised their grief and dismay at losing Walker. Paul’s family did say that they liked the idea of Cody filling in for his late brother and it was revealed that the former stuntman was keen on the idea as a way of paying his respects to brother Paul.
Now, however, the publicity surrounding the seventh in the series deals with more information around body doubles and computer generated FX and nothing about Cody Walker at all. Originally, filmmakers, and those sources “in the know” spoke exclusively of Cody’s resemblance to Paul and how relatively simple it would be to use him in his brother’s place.
With the recent buzz about Fast & Furious 7 filming around Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, it looks like Paul Walker will be replaced with doubles and CG and his brother Cody Walker is out. Fans of the franchise will not care about how their idol is portrayed in his last appearance in the series as long as he is still in the film. Fast & Furious 7 will premiere in 2015.
By Michael Smith