The entertainment community was shocked and devastated when Paul Walker was killed in an automobile accident back in November of 2013. The news was especially unsettling given the nature of his death. Walker had a horrific and fiery high-speed auto crash. The fact that the actor’s fame began with the incredibly popular action franchise, The Fast and The Furious, which is filled with cars racing incredibly fast and vehicles exploding left and right seems ironic. Investigators determined that he and his friend Roger Rodas, who was driving at the time of the accident, were killed in part due to driving at unsafe speeds.
Worse still, the movie star was still in the middle of filming Fast & Furious 7. Production on the film was immediately suspended as the crew and cast, still reeling from Walker’s death, began to attempt to figure out how the film would go forward without its leading man. After all, Paul Waker played the franchise’s lead hero, Brian O’Conner. Questions arose, should they recast him or simply edit around Walker? Hire someone to complete Walker’s scenes or change the story?
It looks like a solution has finally come around. Paul Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, are going to assist the production by stepping in for their late brother to complete scenes that had yet to be shot at the time of his passing. Far from simply replacing the beloved actor, they will just be standing in as his character during non-dialogue requiring action sequences that required his character’s presence.
Paul Walker’s loss was felt very recently at the MTV Movie Awards, where he and Vin Diesel won the award for Best On-Screen Duo. Diesel released a special acceptance video shot from the set of Fast & Furious 7, where he acknowledged his longtime friendship with actor and became emotional while remarking that he wished that his friend was there to accept the award alongside him.
Paul Walker’s MTV Movie Award win was not lauded by everyone, however. Also nominated in the same category were actors Ice Cube and Kevin Hart for their comedy Ride Along. Ice Cube was not pleased with his award loss, telling USA Today that he was robbed of the win, and that the only reason that Walker won was due to sympathy votes from fans. This, not surprisingly, caused a backlash towards Ice Cube on social media, with many decrying him as completely insensitive and callous. Ice Cube, perhaps stirred by the negative attention, later recanted his statements, going on Twitter to publicly state that he had not truly meant the things that he had said and that he was never really mad about his MTV Movie Award loss.
Regardless of that dust-up, Paul Walker’s death is still a terrible tragedy. The loss of an actor too soon, who was only 40 at the time of his passing, is especially sad because of the knowledge that Walker had years worth of performances left to give. Hopefully, his brothers’ choice to help in completing his final film can honor his work in a respectful, satisfying way.
Opinion by Alex Warheit