According to a story by The Hollywood Reporter, Universal Pictures has confirmed that the character the late Paul Walker plays in the Fast & Furious franchise won’t be killed off in the in-progress rewrite of the script, which follows the star’s untimely death. This may come as a relief to longtime fans who feared the character might have been unfittingly disposed of with the series linking back to Tokyo Drift, the only Fast & Furious film to date which has not featured Walker and his character Brian O’Connor in a leading role. O’Connor will not be re-cast, but will be “retired” in the course of the movie, with some tweaks to the script to allowing it to be done with footage already shot.
As might be expected, neither Universal nor the production team including director James Wan, writers Chris Morgan and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, and producers Vin Diesel and Neal Moritz have commented on exactly how O’Connor/Walker will be written out of the story, but given the ever escalating nature of the films thus far and their thematic focus on family, it seems a safe bet to suppose it’s got something to do with O’Connor taking a step back to protect and/or raise his family.
Fast & Furious 7 is now scheduled to be released April 10, 2015.