Universal Pictures has a big decision to make this week about the future of the "Fast & Furious" franchise.
And with "Fast & Furious 7" already well into production before star Paul Walker's unfortunate death over the weekend, it's not an easy decision to make.
According to TMZ, the cast was initially going to go back to work after a holiday break this week, but that probably won't be happening anytime soon.
The way we see it, Universal has four options.
1.) Find a Way to Write Him Out Midway Through Part 7
There's no way they could kill his character off midway through the movie, but they could find a way to write him out. Maybe put Brian O'Conner and Mia (Jordana Brewster) in witness protection with their child, while Dom (Vin Diesel) and the rest of the crew take on the new threat.
This way, the filmmakers could use what they already have and honor Paul's work, but tweak what hasn't been shot yet.
The biggest issue here: What do you do with scenes with Paul racing and potentially crashing cars? You'd have to cut them out of the film too, right?
2.) Finish His Scenes with Another Actor
It would definitely be the most jarring decision, but it's been done before. When Heath Ledger died during the filming of "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell all stepped up and played different versions of his character.
Of course, that movie was far more abstract and the dream-centric plot made it easier to explain. It probably wouldn't work as well here.
3.) Do a Total Rewrite and Start from Scratch
By doing a script rewrite where Paul's character isn't in it from the beginning, Universal could sidestep any random mid-movie disappearance and simply explain why he's not around with a line of dialogue at the beginning (like the witness protection idea above).
It'd be costly to redo everything they've already shot with Paul, but these movies are profitable enough that they could probably make up any loss in the long run anyway.
4.) End the Franchise
Walker was a huge asset to the films and continuing without him doesn't seem right to some.
Plus, the other stars may not want to do it anymore either -- and it'll be really hard to promote a series full of car crashes that starred someone who actually died in one.
Like we said, it's a really hard decision and one that is expected to be made this week.
What do you think will happen ... and what would you like to see happen? Sound off below.
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