‘Fast & Furious 7′ completes filming with heartfelt message to fans
“There was a time when we didn’t know how we could go on, or even if we should,” the film’s Facebook page explains
Eight months after the death of star Paul Walker put the breaks on production, Fast & Furious 7 has finally finished the reshoots required to adjust the blockbuster after the tragedy.
Walker’s cast mates reacted to his death on social media — Vin Diesel’s tribute was especially moving — and mourners flocked to the site where Walker’s car crashed and eventually killed him.
The long-running franchise eventually resumed production after re-writes and the decision to use Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, in certain shots to complete the actor’s story line. The film will be released on April 3, 2015.
The message from the film’s staff is below:
We made it.
Today we completed the last shot in the production of FAST & FURIOUS 7.
We wanted to take this moment to express how thankful we are for your support. We felt the love and strength from our fans throughout this journey, and it’s because of you that we got here.
There was a time when we didn’t know how we could go on, or even if we should. But we listened to you, and you inspired us not only to keep going but to try and make the best FAST & FURIOUS movie yet.
Our FAST family has been together for almost fifteen years now and has grown a lot in that time. From the start, Vin has been our leader who feels what’s right for FAST in his gut and in his heart. When we had to stop production last year, Vin gathered us back together and moved us forward when we needed it most. He led us to this day.
Some of us have been here from the very beginning. Vin, Michelle, Jordana and our producer Neal all go back to that first little movie we shot on the streets of LA. We came back to LA in FAST 7, and it was an especially emotional homecoming for those who’ve grown up with each other since that first shoot.
There are those we count as brothers who we gathered along the way and are with us again: Dwayne, Tyrese, Luda, Lucas and our writer, Chris. We’ve got some new additions this time in Jason, Kurt, Djimon, Nathalie and our director, James. Caleb and Cody joined us to honor their brother and help complete his work.
Our family is big and strong but it won’t ever quite be whole again without Paul.
All of us — those who’ve been here from the start and those whose first FAST film is 7 — wanted to create a special film for him and for you. We believe we have.
Thank you for being there for us. You are the biggest part of our family, and we couldn’t have gotten here without you.
Michelle Rodriguez Shares 'Fast & Furious' Set Pic, Dedicates to Paul Walker
In the seventh installment of the action film franchise, Ian Shaw (Jason Statham) seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his crew for the death of his brother.
In real life, Walker's brothers Cody and Caleb stepped up to help finish the movie, out April 3, 2015, in place of their sibling. Back in April, a photo of the Walker boys on set with Diesel was posted with the caption: "The resemblance is big! Vin Diesel having a chat with Cody and Caleb Walker on the set in Dubai. #fastfever #fastandfurious7 #ff7 #fast7 #fast7official #fastandfurious #vindiesel #paulwalker #codywalker #calebwalker #dubai."
"Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too," the Fast & Furious 7 production team said in a statement earlier this year. "We are just under a year away from the release of FAST & FURIOUS 7, and this film is the most important we've ever done together. It will allow the character of Brian O'Conner to live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role."
Seen in the passenger seat of a car with her on-screen love interest Vin Diesel, Rodriguez Instagrammed on Thursday, July 10: "Ride or Die through thick and thin 15 yrs later surreal to think we made it through such a tough painful production. But this ones for you P I hope we make you proud love you."
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After filling in for the late Paul Walker in the final stages of production for The Fast and the Furious 7, the actor's younger brother is joining the franchise full-time.
Cody Walker, a 25-year-old stuntman, joined the film after Paul Walker was killed in a car crash in November. After a mourning period, filming resumed on the picture, with Cody and older brother Caleb filling in as body doubles in Walker's unfinished scenes.
"Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too," the Fast and Furious team wrote in a Facebook post in April.
Walker's character will be retired from the franchise after the film, which the producers say contains some of "the strongest work of his career."
In future installments of the car-racing series, Cody Walker will join the cast as a completely new character, the Daily Mail reports.
"The producers were really grateful that he stepped in to help them finish this last film," a source told the British tabloid. "It would be a tribute to Paul that Cody carries on the Walker name in the Fast and Furious movies."
Before his death, Walker announced that an eighth film in the franchise was "a guarantee," with Universal Studios considering the possibility of adding a ninth and tenth film to the series. The Fast and the Furious 7 will be released in April 2015.
I think what people don't realize is that after the first movie this was going to be a tight knit family on and off the screen... acting or no acting.. The chemistry and connection was just there and you could tell it came naturally.... Looking forward to this movie..