Effect of Paul Walker’s death on Fast & the Furious 7

The death of lead actor Paul Walker leaves many questions, including what will happen to plans to shoot key scenes in Abu Dhabi next month.

Fast & Furious star Paul Walker who died in a crash on Saturday was a lead actor in the high octane movie franchise,  EPA/Will Oliver
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It's too soon to tell what impact the sudden death of the Fast & the Furious 7 star Paul Walker will have on plans to shoot scenes for the film in Abu Dhabi next month, according to Twofour54's chief executive.

The American actor was due to land in the capital within weeks along with other cast and crew to work on the film, which is due in theatres next year.

Noura Al Kaabi, chief executive of Twofour54 - whose production arm Intaj is Fast and Furious 7’s UAE producer - reacted to the news yesterday.

“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,” she said in a statement. “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.”

Fast and the Furious 7 began limited shooting in Abu Dhabi last month, when visual effects units arrived to capture some images around key Abu Dhabi landmarks, including Etihad Towers and Emirates Palace. Al Kaabi said it was too early to comment on whether the upcoming Abu Dhabi shoot featuring the remaining lead actors will continue as scheduled.

The Los Angeles-based website www.acting-auditions.org, which had posted a casting call for the film back in July, updated its website today in light of Walker’s death, posting: “Filming will likely be postponed indefinitely.”

Fast and the Furious 7 is the latest Hollywood feature to take advantage of the emirate’s film rebate scheme.

Launched by the Abu Dhabi government last September, the initiative aims to reimburse 30 percent of production costs of film and television projects shot in Abu Dhabi.

The scheme has already lured the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced paranormal thriller Beware of the Night, which shot its title sequence and other scenes around the Liwa desert earlier this year.