It was hard enough losing Paul Walker in real life, so when a report on Jan. 3 claimed that his character would not be killed off in ‘Fast & Furious 7,’ I couldn’t have been happier.
After Paul Walker tragically died in a fiery car accident on Nov. 30, there was a ton of speculation surrounding what would be done with Brian O’Connor, Paul’s character in Fast & Furious 7, and with the movie in general. Obviously rewrites would need to be done, but would another actor replace Paul? Would he be deftly written out of the movie? Could he possibly be killed off? The last question was the most important one — and it’s reportedly finally been answered. Correctly.
‘Fast & Furious 7’ Won’t Kill Off Paul Walker’s Character
The makers of Fast & Furious 7 will not kill off Brian, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “In weeks after the tragedy, director James Wan, writer Chris Morgan, and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, Universal’s lead executive on the Fast films, pored over the footage Wan had shot,” THR writes. “The trio then devised a plan to tweak the existing script so that Walker would remain a part of the story but could be written out, allowing the franchise to continue without him.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “the plan is to ‘retire’ the character in way that the studio hopes will satisfy the fans of the franchise and make use of the existing footage of Walker.”
‘Fast’ Producers Making The Right Choice
Now, it’s an extremely loaded, complicated situation (and obviously Universal partly has the bottom line on their minds), but this has to be the best decision the makers of Fast & Furious 7 could have made.
Just consider the other options — replacing Paul or killing off his character. Replacing him — even if the replacement actor was Paul’s brother, Cody — would have been extremely hokey, and would have relied on so much CGI and so many camera tricks, that it would have been a disservice to Paul and his entire family.
The only thing worse than that would have been killing Brian. It would have just hit way too close to reality. Because of the content of the Fast movies — and because we’ve already seen several characters die this way — Brian O’Connor’s death may have likely been car accident-related, just like Paul’s. And that is something no one would have wanted to see or relive again.
Giving Brian O’Connor A Send-Off Is The Only Option
So like I said, there’s really only one option — to give Brian (and Paul) the perfect send-off. I have no idea how they’re going to pull it off, but the mere fact that they’re taking a stab at it makes me believe they can. And there’s no doubt in my mind that however it happens, it’s going to be in ultimate honor of Paul.
Perhaps Brian will take his pardon, and his presumed tons of money, and start that early retirement — with Mia and their child — that he and Dom always talked about. It will at least be nice to hear a character in these movies say, “I’m out,” and actually mean it for once.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Are the Fast filmmakers making the right decision? Let me know.
— Andrew Gruttadaro