Paul Walker’s death during the filming of Furious 7 created a tricky situation, both for the cast and crew who had grown close to him over the years and now had to decide if or how to proceed without him, and for the production itself once they decided to go on. Their solution was to rewrite the script, use Walker’s real-life brothers and a heavy dose of CGI to finish his scenes, and craft a bittersweet ending that saw his character quite literally drive off into the sunset. It was kind of touching and about as well done as anyone could have expected under the circumstances and holllllllld on did that headline say “Vin Diesel Reportedly Wants To Bring Back Paul Walker’s ‘Fast And Furious’ Character”?
[reads headline again]
Looks like it did.
The story comes from the mouths of Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, who sat down with Entertainment Tonight to discuss the charity they created in Paul’s name and their experiences working on Furious 7. That’s when this happened.
“I had a phone call with Vin for about an hour and we really discussed this a while back. He wanted [our] blessing,” Caleb said, adding that Diesel asked if and when they thought it “would be acceptable to maybe bring Paul’s character back… to really kind of let his fans know he’s still out there.”
“Universal wants to make sure to be respectful of Paul and his image too, and his family,” Cody added.
This seems like, to use a showbiz term, “a bad idea.” Although there’s really nothing they can do that won’t be a little weird. Walker’s character, former federal agent turned fugitive street racer turned off-the-books federal agent Brian O’Conner, is still very much alive in the Furious universe. And Jordana Brewster, who plays his wife and the mother of his child, is listed as a member of the cast for the upcoming Fast 8. So the options more or less come down to:
- Never mention his character again, which will be hard to do with the character’s best friends — sorry, his family — and wife still involved in the franchise.
- Just have other characters reference him and talk about him.
- Actually put him on the screen by doing the blood relatives and CGI thing again.
This is really asking a lot of a franchise about neon Hondas racing through Rio and occasionally soaring through the sky while Jason Statham fires heavy artillery at them.
(via Cinema Blend)