Fast and Furious 6

With Hollywood still reeling from the unexpected and tragic passing of Paul Walker, the makers of Fast and Furious 7 are in the midst of a deep discussion about what to do next. And one real possibility on the table is starting over.

This comes from The Wrap, who note that as one person says scrapping it is in the conversation, another denies that it could happen. There has been word that Walker was halfway through filming (though we’d heard rumors he was close to finished), and there are still huge chunks of the movie left to shoot. How much is salvageable without Walker’s participation is unknown, though there’s always the CG double option (but the tech for that — at least based on Tron: Legacy – isn’t quite there yet). What is known is that if Universal decides to scrap what they have, it will be covered by insurance, so they can make this decision partly based on what’s best for the film and the franchise.

And Universal is going to want to go forward with this because it’s become one of their biggest properties, with each new sequel outgrossing the last (at least since 2009′s Fast and Furious). It would be easy to compare this to Heath Ledger‘s work in The Dark Knight, but Ledger had already finished shooting when he passed away. The Fast and Furious franchise is marked by this terrible death, and it’s unknown if seeing Walker in the film, or seeing his fictional counterpart killed, will keep audiences away (where Ledger’s and Brandon Lee’s deaths in some ways enhanced the macabre aspects of their characters).

Fast and Furious 7 was scheduled to hit theaters in summer 2014, but that’s unlikely to happen now. But more than anything we’re days out from Walker’s passing, and the studio has a lot of hard decisions to make in the near future, so it’s not surprising that all options are on the table.

Does Paul Walker’s death make you want to watch or not want to watch the Fast and Furious films?