Fast & Furious 7 to 'go ahead' after Walker's death

image captionWalker starred in five of the six previous Fast and Furious films

Fast & Furious 7 will still go ahead following the sudden death one of its stars, Paul Walker, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The trade magazine quotes a source who said the production is facing a delay but the film will still be released.

Empire magazine's Helen O'Hara told the BBC that most of the film has been shot but still had to be completed.

Walker, 40, died on Saturday when a Porsche being driven by a friend, who also died, crashed near Los Angeles.

Walker's publicist. Ame Van Iden, named the driver as Roger Rodas, with whom the actor owned a luxury car business.

The cast and crew of Fast & Furious 7 were taking a break from filming during the Thanksgiving holiday but were scheduled to reconvene in Atlanta on Sunday.

image captionFans flocked to the site of the crash

Ms O'Hara said: "They will want to take some time - the key thing right now is that they have to do the right thing by Paul and his family… That said, it's an important series, they will still be keen not to abandon it."

Terry Gilliam faced a similar situation when Heath Ledger died while shooting The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Filming on the fantasy movie was halted temporarily before Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell were drafted in to portray various versions of Ledger's character.

Other film stars who have died mid-shoot include Brandon Lee (Crow) and Oliver Reed (Gladiator).

Richard Harris also died after filming his role as Professor Dumbledore in the second Harry Potter film, and was replaced in later instalments by Michael Gambon.

But the dilemma is particularly sensitive for Fast & Furious, said Ms O'Hara, given that the series revolves around high-speed street car racing.

'Tour de force'

Another film starring Walker, Hurricane Katrina drama Hours, will still be released in the US on 13 December, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The film's producer, Peter Safran, told the magazine: "He would have very much wanted us to move forward.

Paul Presburger, CEO of film company Pantelion Productions, told the Hollywood Reporter: "After lots of back and forth, this is our decision. It's Paul's tour de force. He's in every frame of the movie,"

On Sunday, fans of Walker gathered to leave flowers, candles and memorabilia at the crash site.

His Fast & Furious co-star, Tyrese Gibson, wept as he visited the scene.

"Paul is the heartbeat of this franchise and we're gonna see to it that his energy and presence lives on forever," Gibson posted on his Instagram account. He also posted a video of the film cast and crew recently celebrating Walker's birthday.

'RIP my friend'

Walker's co-star Jordana Brewster said: "Paul was pure light. I cannot believe he is gone." Fellow Fast & Furious actor Vin Diesel wrote that "heaven has gained a new angel".

"Brother, I will miss you very much," Diesel said on Twitter.

In a second message, he said: "My heart is hurting so sad. Paul Walker was a good man. RIP my friend... Sorry to the Walker family."

Other tributes came from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jessica Alba, Ludacris and Universal Pictures.

His father paid tribute to his son on the website JustJared, saying: 'His heart was so big. I was proud of him every day of his life. I'm just glad, that every time I saw him, I told him I loved him. And he would say the same thing to me."

image captionThe sports car burst into flames after the crash

Walker was reprising his role as Brian O'Conner in Fast & Furious 7. He starred in five of the six movies in the popular franchise.

He began acting as a young boy when his mother, a model, took him to auditions for commercials.

He won roles in the TV series Touched by an Angel and The Young and the Restless before moving on to supporting roles in late 1990s films like with Varsity Blues and She's All That.

After the success of the first Fast & Furious film, Walker became the leading man for the second instalment when Vin Diesel dropped out.

Diesel later returned, however, and the six-film franchise has now earned an estimated $2.4bn (£1.5bn) at global box offices. The latest instalment, the sixth, was the most lucrative so far.

Walker is survived by his daughter, Meadow.

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