The 40-year-old star was on a break from filming at the time of his death in a shocking car crash two weeks ago. And in a poignant tribute to the star, MailOnline reveals Cody Walker, 25, who has worked as a movie stuntman, is set to take his place in the latest installment of the hit franchise.
Following Paul’s death, Universal Pictures announced it was their ‘duty’ to shut down production – adding they were ‘dedicated to providing support to Paul’s immediate family and our extended Fast & Furious family of cast, crew, and filmmakers.’
A source close to production said: ‘Producers had a string of meetings right after Paul’s death. They soon realized they needed someone who looked like Paul to finish the movie and that’s when they approached his nearly identical brother, Cody.’
Cody, who lives in Oregon, has been staying with his mother Cheryl in Los Angeles and helping to comfort her since his brother’s death, and the source added: ‘They can shoot Cody from behind and at distance and if it’s a shot they need Paul’s face in close up they can CGI it later on.
‘If Cody agrees it’s because he wants to honor his brother’s memory. There are many details that still need to be worked out, but right now the family and cast and crew are all still grieving.’
In addition to this, Universal have also made it clear they will work with the Walker family and take their guidance on a fitting exit for Paul’s Fast & Furious character, Brian O’Connor, according to the source.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that screenwriter Chris Morgan is hard at work on script revisions to director James Wan’s Fast & The Furious 7 with hopes of ‘retiring’ the character using footage that was shot before Paul passed away in a car accident in Los Angeles on November 30. The magazine reported that the cast could be back to work as early as January on the sequel, but added: ‘that’s a big if.’
Sources told THR that Universal has ‘already has poured about $150 million into the film, a bill that its insurance firm, Fireman’s Fund, might have to pay in full if Universal concludes the picture must be started anew.’
See pictures of the brothers below.