Fast & Furious franchise star 's death still has the entertainment industry and fans around the world reeling. Now, just days after the growing speculation about how Walker's death would affect the production of Fast & Furious 7, Variety reports that production on the film has been halted indefinitely per Universal.
A rep from the studio released an official statement, stating the project has been shut down:
Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul’s immediate family and our extended ‘Fast & Furious’ family of cast, crew and filmmakers. At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on ‘Fast & Furious 7′ for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise.
We are committed to keeping ‘Fast & Furious’ fans informed, and we will provide further information to them when we have it. Until then, we know they join us in mourning the passing of our dear friend Paul Walker.
Universal is really making the right decision here. There is the risk that Furious 7 will be bumped from the lucrative summer blockbuster season next year (It was originally slated for July 11, 2014), which will put a serious dent into Universal's yearly profits, being by far its most successful tentpole franchise.
But beyond that, they are dealing with a cast and crew that are bereft in the wake of the death of a beloved friend, and would not be at all in the right mindset mentally and emotionally to continue on with filming. It will probably take some time for the long-time crew and fellow cast members to be able to walk back onto a set and keep working. The majority of the cast is already inked to an eighth film, with the probability of two more Fast & Furious films beyond that, but for now, the right decision was made to shut everything down until the grieving period is over.