Paul Walker Brothers

It was a sad day in November when Paul Walker, featured performer in the Fast & Furious series, lost his life in a violent car crash with friend and professional racecar driver Roger Rodas. With material left to shoot in the series’ latest installment, Fast & Furious 7, the filmmakers made a key decision: the most reasonable substitutes for Paul would be family members. So, in moving forward, director James Wan and his production team announced on Tuesday that they would be using Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody as stand-ins for the late star.

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The Fast & Furious production team made the announcement via Facebook:

“A Note to the Fans of Fast & Furious:”

“The Fast & Furious saga is about family. The characters are connected by the bond of family, and it is how all of us who have worked together for more than thirteen years feel about each other. It certainly defines how we feel about our fans,” the statement read.

Our family experienced an unthinkable shock in November. We had to take time to grieve Paul, the brother we love and lost, and to figure out if we should move on with our film…. Paul had already shot his dramatic scenes and most of his action for Fast & Furious 7, and it’s among the strongest work of his career … We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our Fast family.”

“Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.”

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The final report on the deaths of Walker and Rodas was that they were going approximately 80-93mph in a 45mph zone in Santa Clarita, CA, and the car, a high-performance 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, hit a light pole and several trees. Although the airbags deployed and the men were wearing seat belts, neither one survived the crash.

The release date for the new film was originally slated as the summer of 2014, and fans had marked their calendars. However, due to the accident and the necessary time to complete production, Universal moved the release date for Fast & Furious 7 to April 10, 2015.

Meanwhile, Universal previously announced that it planned to retire Walker’s character at the end of the film. The decision avoids potentially distasteful creative choices about the character’s demise, and allows both the franchise and fans to say farewell to Brian O’Connor with respect and dignity.

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