- (Photo: Reuters/Sergio Almeida)
Paul Walker's character is to be "retired" instead of killed off in the upcoming "Fast & Furious 7" film, according to several reports on Sunday.
The actor portrayed Brian O'Connor in the "Fast & Furious" films, and was set to appear in "Fast & Furious 7" until his death in a car accident on Nov. 30th.
Sources close to the production of "Fast 7" say that Universal Studios hopes to "retire" Walker's character and utilize the existing footage of Walker, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Since Walker's death occurred nearly halfway through the filming of "Fast7," filmmakers could satisfy fans of the franchise by changing the script and continuing to use Brian O'Connor with the footage.
Back in early December, Universal announced that production of "Fast" would be halted indefinitely to "assess all options" in regard to Walker.
"Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul's immediate family and our extended 'Fast & Furious' family of cast, crew and filmmakers," a rep for the studio said in a statement.
"At this time we feel is it our responsibility to shut down production on 'Fast & Furious 7' for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise."
The new film is now set for release on April 10, 2015.
The "Fast" films, which first debuted in 2001, also stars Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese, and Michelle Rodriguez, among many others.
Meanwhile, news about the fate of Walker's character arrives just days after the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office released grisly details about the actor's final moments.
Walker was the passenger in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT being driven by Roger Rodas when the car fatally hit a tree and pole before bursting into flames in Los Angeles on Nov. 30th.
On Friday, Jan. 3, the coroner on the case confirmed that the car carrying Walker and Rodas was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour when it crashed and killed them both, according to CNN.
"For unknown reasons, the driver lost control of the vehicle, and the vehicle partially spun around, and began to travel in a southeast direction," the report reads.
Moreover, the 15-page report revealed that he was likely dead before the smoke and fire engulfed the car since "scant soot" was found in his trachea.
However, the actor's body was found "charred and in a pugilistic (defensive) stance."
"His right wrist was fractured and his left arm was fractured," the report said.
Walker also suffered fractures to his left jawbone, collarbone, pelvis, ribs, and spine.
Alternately, Rodas, a friend of Walker's, died immediately from head trauma.
No traces of drugs or alcohol were present in either victim.