"Fast & Furious 7" has found a way to go on shooting without Paul Walker.
By using his brothers.
The "Fast 7" filmmakers announced today on Facebook that Paul's two younger siblings, Cody and Caleb, are on the film set to help finish some of the late actor's action scenes. Production was halted when Walker died in a fiery car crash last Nov. — just weeks after he attended Caleb's wedding as his best man (see above photo).
Cody Walker, in his mid-twenties and the youngest of the three Walker brothers, is a trained paramedic and now works with is late brother's Reach Out Worldwide charity. Caleb Walker is in his late thirties.
"Fast 7" filming resumed just a few weeks ago.
Here is the announcement in its entirety:
A Note to the Fans of FAST & FURIOUS
The FAST & FURIOUS saga is about family. The characters are connected by the bond of family, and it is how all of us who have worked together for more than thirteen years feel about each other. It certainly defines how we feel about our fans.
Our family experienced an unthinkable shock in November. We had to take time to grieve Paul, the brother we love and lost, and to figure out if we should move on with our film.
We came together and all felt the only choice was to continue. We believe our fans want that, and we believe Paul would want that too. Paul had already shot his dramatic scenes and most of his action for FAST & FURIOUS 7, and it’s among the strongest work of his career.
We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our FAST family. Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.
We are just under a year away from the release of FAST & FURIOUS 7, and this film is the most important we’ve ever done together. It will allow the character of Brian O’Conner to live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role.
We wanted to take a moment to speak to our fans directly and thank you for the love and support you always show us as we resume our work.
Walker's untimely death presented challenges for the film's completion. Before production resumed, insiders told Yahoo there were several scenes with Walker that had not been shot and that two-thirds of the script needed to be rewritten to accomodate his loss. Indeed, in the days following his death, studio execs, producers, director James Wan, and Vin Diesel were in a scramble to revamp the film and consulted with Walker's family to decide on an option that would be respectful to the late star.
Rather than have Walker killed off from the popular action franchise, The Hollywood Reporter had sources saying Walker's character, Brian O'Conner, would instead be "retired."
The original "Fast 7" release date of July 11, 2014 was also shifted to April 10, 2015 following Walker's death. The film, currently shooting on location outside of the U.S., is on track for its release next year.
Diesel posted a video from the set just yesterday, honoring his fallen friend and co-star by accepting their MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo, an honor voted upon by the franchise's many fans.
Fans will also get a chance to see one of Walker's final performances in "Brick Mansions," a high-concept, parkour-packed action-thriller that opens April 25.
See Paul Walker in the "Brick Mansions" theatrical trailer: