Paul Walker Death Delays Fast & Furious Filming in Dubai
The UAE was buzzing with excitement as initial filming for blockbuster movie Fast & Furious 7 began earlier this year ahead of the movie’s major stars touching down in the Emirate to complete shooting in January 2014 – but with the untimely death of actor Paul Walker, the successful movie saga looks set to end abruptly.
Just last month his co-star Ludacris spoke exclusively to Ahlan! and revealed how the whole cast were already back in action together in Atlanta, Georgia, and were looking forward to welcoming new players Jason Statham and Kurt Russell to the fold. However, the film, which was due to shoot in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in january, is now unlikely to be finished as Walker, who played Brian O’Conner, was killed last weekend after being involved in a horrific car crash. Representatives for Universal Pictures have yet to officially comment on how they intend to proceed with so much of the film already completed, but there is an outside chance they will rewrite the script to fit around Walker’s passing and dedicate the finished product to him.
Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of Abu Dhabi-based production hub Twofour54, said in a statement: "We are very sad to learn that actor Paul Walker has died tragically after an accident while attending a charity event for his organisation Reach Out Worldwide.
"Paul Walker was well-known for his role in the famous The Fast and the Furious franchise and we had been looking forward to welcoming him to Abu Dhabi next month for filming of The Fast and the Furious 7. Our thoughts are with Paul Walker’s family and with The Fast and The Furious cast and crew at this difficult time."
The blond-haired, blue-eyed action star, who was in five of the six films about illegal street racing and bank heists, was riding as a passenger in a friend's Porsche on Saturday after having lent his support to a charity event for the Philippines typhoon relief effort when the unnamed driver lost control of the vehicle during a charity event in Santa Clarita, California. The sports car is said to have collided with a tree and burst into flames killing both the driver and Walker instantly. A statement posted on the actor's official Facebook fan page reads: "It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time."
In one of his final interviews, Walker recently said he was enjoying life as a dad to his teenage daughter Meadow after revealing she had moved in with him last year. He said, "She started living with me last year just when I was leaving to go to work on <Fast & Furious 6>. It's really kind of tearing on me trying to maintain the balance. She just turned 15 and it's a critical time.
"We're really honest with each other, which is cool. She tells me what her needs are and tries to be a little tougher than I want her to be sometimes. I want her to be more revealing like, 'You're not home enough…' I want her to say those things." Just two days before his death, Walker took to Twitter to share his Thanksgiving Day thoughts with fans and posted: "Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating today! Try not to get too full from dinner, seconds, dessert, leftovers, that late-night snack." He later added a now shockingly apt tweet, writing, "When you #LiveFast, there's no definite set of rules."
And on Friday, he posted a photo from the set of the new <Fast & Furious> movie, featuring himself and co-stars Vin Diesel and Tyrese, captioning it with: "The boys are back. Will you be ready?" It turned out to be his last Twitter entry.