After the death of star Paul Walker, many “Fast & Furious” fans thought the franchise would end with the upcoming seventh installment. However, it seems producers are willing to extend the franchise without the actor, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“We think there's at least three more,” Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley said. “Paul is, and always will be, an integral part of the story. But there are many other great characters, and it's also an opportunity to introduce new characters.”
Fans still aren’t sure how Walker will be involved in “Furious 7.” The actor died in a car accident during filming, forcing the creative team to rework the script and figure out a way to “retire” his character, Brian O’Connor. Earlier this year, the Hollywood Reporter reported “Furious 7” would write Brian out of the series without killing him. Details about Brian’s ending are being kept under wraps, but the film used the late actor’s brothers, Cody and Caleb, to stand in for him.
The idea of continuing the series may not appeal to many Paul Walker fans, but it’s certainly appealing to those who care about box office numbers. East of the last three movies has made more than its predecessor.
“I think it's still a growing franchise,” Langley said. “We'll see what happens with ‘Furious 7,’ obviously, but our box office has grown over the past three or four films and internationally, in particular. So we think that there's more to mine there. But we're of course very mindful about fatigue.”
The cast might be up for doing the films without Walker since they all seem to enjoy making the “Fast & Furious” franchise. "Just reuniting with the cast, honestly, was really nice," Jordana Brewster told E Online. "Because I hadn't seen them in a long time so to be able to hang with them for a while -- it was really special."
Fans seem to be excited about the seventh installment as well. The "Furious 7" trailer was one of the most viewed videos on YouTube the week of its release. However, they might not be so excited for films without Walker. "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" was the third film in the trilogy and the only movie that didn't star Walker. It was also the only film that didn't gross at least $100 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo.
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"Furious 7" hits theaters on April 3, 2015.