Filming of Fast & Furious 7 was canceled Monday while producers scrambled to re-chart the future of the wildly successful franchise after the car-crash death of star Paul Walker.
Director James Wan has been on the phone with executives at Universal and producer Neal Moritz to discuss the status of the film, currently on location in Atlanta with about half the movie already shot, according to reports.
The big-budget film also stars Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson and was scheduled for release on July 11, 2014.
“All of us at Universal are heartbroken,” Universal says in a statement. “Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast and Furious films, and to countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul’s family.”
Walker, 40, who was returning to his role as policeman Brian O’Conner, was killed outside Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon when the high-performance Porsche in which he was a passenger crashed and caught fire. The driver, his business partner Roger Rodas, also was killed.
The film had been filming for months in Atlanta and had about another month left to go with Walker to be included in some of the scenes, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The production was next set to move to Abu Dhabi, according to The Wrap.