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In memory of actor Paul Walker

By Randy Amorim
On April 28, 2014

When Paul Walker died during the filming of "Fast 7," the big question that the studio, the producers, the writers and director James Wan were then faced with was: "what to do now that their leading man could not finish filming." According to The Verge, Walker's brothers will finish filming his scenes and then CGI will be used to make them look like Walker. Since most of his dramatic scenes apparently were already filmed, the producers said this would not be too difficult and that his character will be retired from the series rather than killed off.
Personally, I think not killing off the character is the right call. Seeing Walker on screen driving fast cars dangerously after his death will already be uncomfortable for fans. Killing the character, whether it be in a similar circumstance or not, would only upset the audience. I am not entirely sure how they can retire the character without him speaking lines, unless they can use CGI for that. It will certainly be interesting to see how they handle it.
Now that some time has passed since Walker's death, it is clear that despite his many other films, he will always be remembered for "The Fast and the Furious" franchise. This past weekend his last completed film, "Brick Mansions" was released into theaters. There was a decent advertising campaign around the film and there was some speculation that his death would lead to higher sales the way Heath Ledger's death caused fans to turn out in massive numbers to see "The Dark Knight." This did not happen for "Brick Mansions" which early studio estimates have opening at 5th place with under 10 million. However, I am willing to bet that "Fast 7," which would have opened anyways, will certainly see Walker's death affect sales in some positive way with fans rushing to theaters to show their support and respect for the late actor.
Walker was never fully appreciated as an actor. Outside of "The Fast and Furious" franchise, Walker starred in many action films which went straight to DVD, as well as many underrated films. Hegave strong supporting roles in major films such as "Flags of Our Fathers," "Pleasantville," "Varsity Blues" and "She's All That." Walker's underrated starring films include "Eight Below," "Running Scared," and "Joy Ride." It is certainly not a bad thing that he will be remembered for 'The Fast and the Furious'. The film not only made him a household name along with the rest of its leading cast, but he was at the heart of the series, its leading man and its soul. Vin Diesel may be all over the posters and advertisement, but Walker was always the big fish of the franchise standing in the shadows. As he once said in an interview, he preferred to be there, outside of the spotlight.
Since his death, many stories have circulate across the Internet of things about Walker's life. I do not know the validity of these stories, but the general consensus is that Walker was the kind of guy who everybody liked to be around. He apparently knew everybody's name on set. I read a story online once that while he was shopping in a jewelry story he saw a soldier who just returned from the war shopping for an engagement ring. When he could not afford to buy the one he wanted, the story is that Walker purchased it for him. You cannot believe everything you read on Twitter, and I was unfortunately unable to find another source to verify this touching story, but it almost doesn't matter. Between all the stories circulating and all that his costars have said about him in recent interviews, people seem to have regarded Walker as an all-around nice guy that everybody liked.
 


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