"If victory favors me, I will protect your child with my life."

"I ask you not to worry about that possibility. Because my son and I live on the Demon Way in Hell, we're prepared to descend into Hell through the Six Realms and Four Lives."

R.I.P. Paul Walker

tn_paulwalkerTerrible news about Paul Walker dying today. You guys know how much I love the whole FAST & FURIOUS saga, and most of you share that love, so you know exactly how much it bums me out. But I wanted to write a few words about his career.

I wrote somewhere, maybe in my first review of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, that I think of Walker as the popular guy on the football team who’s so nice that you can’t hate him for it. I guess he was raised Mormon, which might be part of where that vibe comes from. I know Mormons get a bad rap because of Mitt Romney and the Joseph Smith sphinx and etc. but every one of ’em I ever knew was a little square and alot nice. I bet Paul Walker really was a nice guy but maybe not that square because I bet he really did wear Pumas every day just like Brian O’Conner.

It’s fitting that he would play the Keanu character in a ripoff of POINT BREAK, because his persona had alot in common with Keanu. He had a little bit of a California surfer dude feel to him, a voice that made him sound a little dim, that made people underestimate him. Like Keanu he had a weird, seemingly contradictory mix of stiff and charismatic that made him appealing.

I liked watching him evolve over the course of the FAST series. That opening credits montage in FURIOUS  6 made it seem like he hadn’t really aged, mostly he just changed haircuts. But I thought he became more comfortable and more gritty as the series continued, with part 4 being a particularly big jump from how he was in part 2 (where he has the biggest spotlight since it’s the only one without Vin Diesel). I still say 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS is the underrated entry. It’s definitely the stupidest one but in the Furiousiverse that’s not a criticism. I love that ridiculous movie.

It’s nice that the series got so undeniably good that alot of the people who used to make fun of these movies, including friends of mine, have become converts. So alot of people will be missing him in future movies. In a series largely defined by the relationship of these two characters (I always wondered if one of them was supposed to be the fast and the other one the furious, like THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY) and revived on the basis of how well they were able to keep this cast together, it’s going to be a big hole that can’t really be filled.

But it also makes me sad that Walker didn’t get more of a chance to use the success of the series to find some interesting vehicles for himself. I remember the Ain’t It Cool Newsies used to hate the guy (maybe because he played a football player in VARSITY BLUES so they thought he was gonna give them a wedgie). He never seemed like an actor with alot of range, but I rooted for him to really do something great and rub their fuckin noses in it. Like, I was real excited that he was gonna be in a movie directed by Clint Eastwood, but FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS wasn’t one of Clint’s better ones, and Walker’s part was pretty small.

The most impressive performance I ever saw by him was in RUNNING SCARED, which I’m sure alot of people will be talking about now. That’s an enjoyably crazy thriller and one of the few times where he pushed himself to play a really extreme character nothing like himself. It’s not like he pulls off some Tom Hardy type transformation but he does way better than any of us would’ve predicted and it’s kinda exhilarating to see him challenge himself like that.

This should be all my Paul Walker reviews, hopefully I didn’t say anything too stupid about him in any of them. If so I apologize. I forgot about EIGHT BELOW, remember that one? I’ve been meaning to re-watch JOYRIDE too, that’s one I never wrote about. He has a couple other ones I’ve been waiting for that haven’t come out yet, VEHICLE 19 and BRICK MANSIONS, which is supposedly a remake of DISTRICT B-13, does have David Belle in it but also RZA. I hope all of them are doing parkour but I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

Anyway it’s a real bummer, never saw this one coming. My heart goes out to his daughter and all the people who actually knew and worked with him. I always got a kick out of how in 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS he calls various people including the bad guy “bro,” so I say with all sincerity thanks for the fun movies, bro.

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 30th, 2013 at 11:17 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

71 Responses to “R.I.P. Paul Walker”

  1. I liked Into the Blue, was good enough for what it was.

  2. The first movie I saw him in was Pleasantville, and he was spot-on playing a jock in transition. This is such an awful thing to have happened. I’ll make it a point to catch up on “Running Scared” and the other Walker films I missed over the years. We should all try to enjoy the spirit of the new Fast & Furious movie, even though the media will flip it a lot of shit because of its heavy emphasis on cars speeding and crashing.

  3. Terrible news. I can tell you that he didn’t wear pumas. He wore Birkenstocks and kicked them off with his bare feet on the table. It was magnificent.

    I think HOURS is great but lots of folks were hard on it at sxsw. Scheduled for dec 13, I won’t be surprised if they postpone it, but maybe they won’t. VEHICLE 19 is out and it’s a disappointment of the GETAWAY variety but far as I know BRICK MANSIONS is done.

    I’m kinds devastated.

  4. I only saw the first three FF’s. Running Scared and Joyride(known as RoadKill here in Oz) are the Walker ones I liked the best.

  5. Aw fuck. I really feel kinda bad for thinking “I hope he finished Fast 7” and “I wonder if and how they incorporate his death into the other sequels”. Damn, R.I.P. Don’t know what else to say.

  6. I was pretty shocked, when I read the news today.

    When I saw Waker for the first time, I didn’t think very much of him, he seemed like just another prettyboy with that annoying bro attitude. But when I watched the Fast & Furious saga last year, I started to like him. He always seemed down to earth and that was just right for the whole series.

    A couple of weeks ago I watched the old Troma film MONSTER IN THE CLOSET and was really surprised when the credits disclosed that the little boy with glasses who learns how to eliminate the monster and save the world was Paul Walker, action star. Makes the horrible news even sadder, having seen him as a small child in a silly schlock movie.

  7. Man, this sucks. I always liked paul. he looked pretty genuine to me.
    He was probably the kinda guy you could easily hang out with and have a good time with.

    For f&f I feel like they lost the most relatable guy of the franchise.
    Well for me anyway. I wanted the series to continue but now I am not so sure. How do you replace one of two lead characters after seven movies?
    Also i think the fast and the furious series was paul walkers thing. Vin diesel has riddick and for paul it was f&f. So i would be fine if this was it.

    RIP bro.

  8. It’s a shame that he died so young. 2 FAST has always been my favorite. I also like 3,5, and 6, but 2 is the only one I own. Walker and Tyrese have a really fun giggling goofball buddy chemistry that doesn’t really show up in any of the other movies.

  9. This sucks. The worst thing about it is the way he died, which has already lead to a bunch of jokes that, y’know…WAY too soon guys.

    RIP

  10. Well, shit. I never followed this guy much but was often surprised when watching a movie where the trailers made him seem like a complete douchebag, and halfway through I realized I actually liked this guy.

    I will have to watch one of his “outside the box” movies. Perhaps if he had been given the role and a chance he could have proved himself more than a pretty face and gotten some meaty roles. Like Heath Ledger and Brad Pitt.

  11. I read a review

  12. Oops, hit submit by accident. Anyway:

    I read a review once that described Alec Baldwin as a character actor in a leading man’s body. Paul Walker always struck me as being a lovable doof in the hot jock’s body. And I mean that as a compliment.

    He seemed to be involved in a lot of charity efforts, and if reports are correct, this crash took place during a charity event, which is little comfort to the people who knew him closely and loved him as a person and not an actor.

    Like others have said, he kept the movies grounded in a way. I guess now that falls to Lucas Black. I’m sorry we won’t see Walker in more of them and that his character may not get the happy ending he deserved.

  13. One thing that I really like about the Fast and the Furious movies is the fact that they take their characters seriously. We watch them get older, fall in love, get married, and have children. Watching these movies every couple of years always felt like catching up with old friends. For me personally, this makes Paul Walker’s death have even more of an impact. I know he was playing a character, but because we followed this character for so long, you started to get a sense that you kind of knew Walker as a person. He will be sorely missed.

  14. Very saddening. Walker had a nice decent-guy presence, the kind of low-key anchoring of a film that you don’t really appreciate until you try to re-create F5 or FF6 without the Brian character in the mix. It’s a hard quality to fake well, so I have a feeling that it was really part of Walker’s real personality. The same type of actor in the old days was Gary Cooper or Glenn Ford; you don’t see much of it anymore.

  15. what the fuck, Paul Walker died? Jesus Christ, no one should be dying at age 40

    I’m very sorry you guys

  16. Reposted from the FURIOUS 6 comments for posterity: “I always liked him, even when he was the go-to punchline for unimaginative dipshits who didn’t feel comfortable making Keanu jokes anymore. He seemed like a real stand-up guy, and that’s something you can’t fake. I think it says a lot that this supposed prettyboy stood toe-to-toe with one of the most outsized action heroes in the business for more than a decade and never gave an inch. He had sand. You could just tell.”

    I also feel strange worrying about the fate of F&F7. Obviously, there is a selfish component to it, because I want my current favorite movie series to continue and still be awesome in the face of such senseless loss. It seems like somehow crafting the movie into a kickass sendoff for Brian O’Conner would be an excellent tribute to Paul Walker, who was so associated with that character and seemed to bring a lot of his own personality to it. I’m on the fence about whether or not it would be in bad taste to kill O’Conner off in the film and have Dom get revenge for him. It might be seen as crass by some, but I think this cast and crew has enough sincerity in it to pull it off and make it a cathartic experience for us fans. After all, these movies work because they express powerful emotions through over-the-top action. I can see no more fitting elegy for the man’s work than to make that last quarter-mile of his life as badass as humanly possible.

    I am very sad today. The F&F saga feels like a family affair to me, a family that bound together not just the cast and crew but also included all of us action lovers who have room in our hearts to take these often ridiculous but always earnest films seriously. Walker’s complete and total lack of irony was a big part of setting that tone. The cars were the gimmick that got the franchise started, but it was the themes of brotherhood, loyalty, honor, and integrity that kept us coming back. So many movie fans these days seem to be either callow nerds or cynical snarkmongers. These films aren’t for them. They’re for us.

  17. This may seem like a horrible thing to say (I obviously don’t intend for it to be mean-spirited), but maybe it’s a good thing he had to die in a car crash.

    The fact that he died in the first place is terrible, especially so young, and that he had to suffer such an abrupt and violent death is so painful to even think about.

    But I’m hoping this will help a few people wake the fuck up and realise that cars aren’t play things. Most people drive like assholes, and many of them even more so after watching films like the F&F series. I’m hoping Walker’s death will be in the back of people’s minds when they walk out of theatres after watching FF7.

    That kinda shit is cool on screen, but there’s no need to race like a moron in real life.

  18. yea i had a friend and my dad both die in car wrecks it sucks.

  19. I think most of us just took Paul Walker for granted. It seemed like it was just assured that he’d be in every non-Tokyo Drift entry of the Fast & Furious saga. Now that he is gone, it comes as a shock.

    Vin Diesel was the bricks and Paul Walker was the mortar. While Vin’s action hero posturing and bad boy persona made you buy into the more outlandish aspects of the franchise, it was Walker’s everyman blandness that help ground the films in some sort of reality. It takes talent to do that and not get lost in the shuffle of an ever-growing cast like the F & F franchise.

    As a fan of the series, I’m in mourning. I can’t begin to imagine how his family and friends feel at this time. My heart goes out to them.

  20. CJ/Mr. M – We still don’t know the status of what Walker did in F&TF 7. Was his part finished or did they still need to shoot more stuff? We’ll find out soon enough because since that franchise is Universal’s crown jewel series, the details will leak or be announced.

    Ultimately you have two choices going forward to deal with the Walker character:

    (1) write the character out.
    (2) recast the character.

    Not to sound cold-hearted, but is recasting the part really a worse option than writing him out?

  21. Yes. Come on, man. You really think giving that character a hero’s ending is worse than acting like any old blond guy can play him? I can’t even begin to explain how disrespectful that is.

  22. “Joyride” was “Roadkill” over here in the UK as well. Definitely my favorite of his movies, although the last two “Fast and Furious” movies were very entertaining as well.

    And yeah, this is pretty horrible news. One more death to cap off the year, I guess. (It’s been a bad, bad year for deaths in the movie business.) Hopefully this one’s the last.

    I’ll repeat what I said in the “Badass Trailer Roundup” thread:

    “Kinda bugs me that I’ve read two news stories about Walker’s death now though, and neither of them has mentioned the name of the friend he was with who also died. I know Walker is the “big news” but that just seems disrespectful. Somehow I don’t think Walker would want his friend to just be ignored.

    Regardless, RIP Paul Walker and friend. Condolences to their families and friends.”

  23. I know it’s the internet and the concept of “too soon” doesn’t exist anymore, but it’s real depressing looking at Facebook/Twitter and seeing people scrambling all over themselves to make hilarious F&F jokes.

  24. My earnest desire to take a blowtorch to those people for their crimes against both compassion and comedy is one reason nobody will be tweeting about what a lovely and kind person I was after I die.

  25. As crass and cynical as this may sound (and I’m certainly not promoting it as a positive result), I think Walker’s untimely death ultimately may be a hindrance to the F&F franchise, but it may well prove to be a boon for the next movie. Fast & Furious 6 brought the whole enterprise to a fever pitch, and success at the box office was a foregone conclusion for F&F 7. But consider how many *more* people will turn out for the 7th movie just out of morbid curiosity about how the movie was completed without Walker.

    Universal isn’t gonna scrap the footage they’ve shot thus far. And don’t be surprised if they issue a gag order for everyone involved to keep mum about how the plot was affected with the remainder of shooting played out in Walker’s absence. I’m sure they’ll dedicate F&F 7 to Walker to honor his memory, but beyond that it’s gonna be business as usual.

    Still, it’s a terrible loss on a personal level. He seemed like a good guy and definitely well-grounded for all his success.

  26. Jack Burton – “I think most of us just took Paul Walker for granted.”

    Yeah maybe so. I am not going to sit here and I act like I didn’t think he was more than just a decent actor. But what a tragically ironic death and messed up way to go out. Condolences to his friends and family indeed.

    RUNNING SCARED and PLEASANTVILLE were the best movies on his resume. Very entertaining and interesting. He was serviceable in the F&F franchise. Never was the standout but always played his part consistently. As for the future well I’m in the “show must go on” camp. I do feel the best route is writing the character out and not recasting though. Be it through death (Like Majestyk I don’t think it will feel like exploitation either due to the tightness of this cast & crew) or just say he rode out into the sunset with his family through Dom’s dialogue or something. It will add pathos in it’s own way and up the stakes more genuinely than say recasting the role. This is the guy’s signature character, show some respect for his legacy’s sake I say.

  27. Amazing Larry – “Still, it’s a terrible loss on a personal level. He seemed like a good guy and definitely well-grounded for all his success.”

    That’s very true though. He may not have been an Olivier type thespian or someone with the appeal of a Steve McQueen or Clint or Bruce on the screen but he always came across as a really humble and charitable dude. Hollywood could use more people with that type of heart.

  28. “This is the guy’s signature character, show some respect for his legacy’s sake I say.”

    Nonsense. What roles will Sean Connery and Tom Baker be rememebered the most for when they die and are eulogized by the press? Parts that have carried onwards without them. (Hell Baker was the fourth actor to play the Doctor* on DOCTOR WHO, and we’re now at what 11 Doctors, with the 12th and newest Doctor coming at Christmas.**) Hell you know Warner Bros. when they produce another [REDACTED] movie, they’ll do the Joker again. Are they disrespecting Heath Ledger? Umm no.

    Plus there’s a problem with Broddie and Majestyk’s wishes to write that character off to a happy sunset ending with his family….that would sorta put Jordana Brewster out of a job, no?

    *=See I’m that big of a nerd that I know the difference. Most folks just call that character “Doctor Who” when that’s inaccurate.
    **=Or 12 Doctors officially after that recent DAY OF THE DOCTOR special…yet Matt Smith is still officially the Eleventh Doctor. (Yeah headache coming…)

  29. I’m still in shock and denial a bit – mainly because like you guys said, he’s basically someone we took for granted, not just for his impossibly pretty-boy looks, but probably because he was solid and reliable onscreen. He didn’t need mega-acting – he had a strong, likable screen presence, and in his best performances like Into the Blue, he really seemed to be “not acting” in the best possible way – there was a loose, improvisational quality to alot of his line-readings that may have been genuine or may have been a stylistic choice, but either way I’d take his acting style (like Keanu and sometimes Channing Tatum) over Oscar-bait acting any day.

    And thank you Vern and everyone else for being sincere and respectful in your thoughts – I’ve always heard people claim the internet/social media is good for society because it shows everyone’s true colors, even when negative. But I feel, especially days like today, that the whole twitter/facebook/comment board culture just breeds snark and ironic disassociation from everything. I mean why say anything from the heart about the death of a young, popular, well-liked, and charitable guy when you can make douche-y and tired F&F jokes? It’s sickening and sadly all-too predictable.

  30. RRA – Difference being that Brian O’Connor isn’t as malleable as any of those characters because they originated in medium outside of film where it’s in their nature to be open to different interpretations. The F&F character was created as much by Walker and his performance and any input he had regarding the character the 5 times he played him as it was by whoever wrote that first movie.

    On top of that there was already a Bond before Connery even if he isn’t the most iconic and the source material already had a fanbase by that point. Just like with The Joker. Also those characters have both been all over pop culture across multiple mediums outside of their original medium since the 60’s. At this point those are characters bigger than any one actor that has played them. They are also designed to have that kind of longevity hence why they’re so malleable. Brian O’Connor is meant to be a regular guy not a wildcard or a badass secret agent.

    True Brewster will have to be written out but be honest with yourself does she even really contribute anything that the franchise will really miss by that point? hell she was barely around in the last entry. The biggest elements of this franchise as we know it now where Vin, The Rock and Paul Walker. Michelle Rodriguez is even arguable before Jordana Brewster as she plays a more significant role at this point than a thankless one.

    On top of that they’re ready to set up the passing of the torch with the next couple of entries anyway since Lucas Black is back. I think saying that Brian and whatever Dom’s sisters name was went off into the sunset to raise their child is believable and also respectable since again, no recast and Brewster doesn’t really do anything in the movies anyway.

    The Doctor Who excuse also never really works. Even though I’m not a fan of that stuff even I just like any other pop culture fan on the net knows that like you stated most of those actors played the exact same guy yes. However unlike most other recasts the differences between them are actually explained within the actual narrative so it’s never as grating as with other roles.

  31. *Brian O’Connor is meant to be a regular guy not a wildcard or a badass secret agent it’s not as flexible and the appeal was growing up with the character across the series and watching him evolve.

  32. In a recent interview, he said he wasn’t sure if he was going to be in part 8 anyway. The fact that he was starting to get some meatier roles outside the franchise, that Lucas Black is coming back and that the films felt like they were starting to lean toward using the Vin/Rock dynamic a bit more, this rings true. Brewster would have to be written out to really sell a happy ending but considering how their relationship was such an important part of both characters, maybe she would be happy to go at this point anyway. It speaks very well of these films and their themes of extended family that this death is hitting us all so hard.

  33. I was going to ask if he had wrapped F and F 7. Apparently not. Postponed indefinitely.

    http://m.totalfilm.com/news/fast-and-furious-7-production-delayed-after-paul-walker-s-death

    Also,

  34. RIP to the man. Terrible thing to happen.

  35. One of my friends works in Hollywood. He said that Paul Walker was one of the good ones. Rest in peace to the man. I always liked him, people give actors who play grounded low-key “stiff” characters a hard time but they are important linchpins in a narrative and Walker played a great one. He also could amp it up as “Running Scared” demonstrated. Watch his last apperance on Fallon – they show a clip of him and Tyrese and when the clip comes back he starts talking about how cool Tyrese is and how much he amps him up!

  36. Man, I was so looking forward to FF7 and then this shit happened. I have problems formulating and articulate my thoughts about this and really have no other input than to agree to what Majestyk has spoken about the future about his character. I think they should write him out and make it out as a revenge-story in part eight. Emotionally it will make a significant impact to the audience and also there will be no bullshit about what actually happened. i don´t like it if they would just pretend nothing have happened. Just replacing him would be incredibly disrespectful.

    The trick is what they will do with the unfinished seven. Hopefully they can work their way around that.

  37. I also always liked him. He mostly played the ordinary guy next door, and it’s easy to undervalue those kinds of performances. I think his best performance of that type was in Joyride. He anchored that film, like he anchored the FF series. The larger than life presence of Vin Diesel needed that ordinary guy to play against him.

    And of course Running Scared was a big departure for Paul, and he gave an excellent performance.

    IMHO the ideal way to finish his character off in the FF series would be to give him a heroic death in the climax – Let his character to sacrifice his life in order to save the others.

    Obviously, they are in an awful place with the film, as they still needed to film key scenes with him. The release date is going to move, maybe to next December.

    But luckily, modern technology is going to help. And they probably have a big library of him doing takes, and entire unseen scenes, in the previous FF movies. Combine those with digital trickery, and it allows them more room to re-write the script.

    I think this is the first time ever, that a lead actor dies in the middle of shooting such a big event film.

  38. It seems too soon and too sad but obviously I’ve been thinking about it too. I like Broddie’s idea to leave him ambiguously alive in the world of the films. I would even go further to have Mia show up in part eight bringing news of some crucial information from Brian. Something like, “Brian is busy racing Le Mans but he sent this note!” That’s probably too cheesy, but I would love to see them give him immortality, artistically at least. I do believe he wasn’t planning to return for 8 anyway.

    They will probably make him die as a sacrifice/Dom’s revenge or something. That’s just the easiest narrative solution and the most conventional way the writers probably think. It’ll be fine. I do trust the filmmakers to handle it with respect, and of course the movie will be dedicated to him. They will not recast, no way. Larry is right, the cast will agree as a group not to talk about the former incarnation of the script.

    The most anticipated movie of next year is going to be a bittersweet affair any way you look at it now. Maybe it’ll end up being like THE CROW, a memorial that helps us heal in a way.

    Like Neal2Zod and Majestyk said, the family feeling of the series makes this death feel closer. In a way it’s a good thing that a work of art can add some poignance to a real life tragedy, but it could just be that a 40-year-old single father is gone. That’s terrible any way you slice it.

  39. That is why I feel that the audience might ( I know I will) respond stronger if the death of Paul will affect O´Connor as well. It FEELS like a death in the family and should be treated accordingly. But I really feel uncomfortable talking about the franchise when the thoughts clearly should go to Paul´s family. I will not dwell on this further.

  40. Shoot, Fred— OK, guys… bear with me here, and please tell me if you think this is plausible:

    I don’t know if they were shooting F&F 7 in sequence, but amidst whatever’s going on at that point in the movie (Walker’s final scenes), factor in some exposition about O’Connor having gone missing. Part of the team continues on with whatever they were doing, the other part goes looking for him. Have it play out after the movie’s climax, at the VERY end, they find out O’Connor’s been killed (offscreen) by Jason Statham’s character.

    Toretto sees red, the audience can tell he’s about to hunt down a motherfucker to the ends of the earth, and this heinous act is what FINALLY dissolves that grudging partner relationship between Toretto and Hobbs, and shifts them into brother-hunters out for blood.

    I do believe that could work.

  41. Larry, that’s probably what they’ll go for. Movies don’t shoot in sequence of course and it’s entirely possible they have the denouement filmed already with Walker. My understanding from the news stories is that the sequence they had yet to shoot is a climax in Abu Dhabi. If that’s the case, it’s possible they will rewrite it to a completely different location, one that can accommodate the change.

    At this point it’s up to the filmmakers and whatever they decide, FAST 7 will be a grieving process for us all before we can continue to FAST 8: BOSEWELLIAN BOUNTY.

  42. It would be a completely shitty and disrespectful choice to have Brian be merely just another victim for the villain.

    The only way to kill him properly is to have him make a conscious self-sacrifice.

  43. Honestly I don’t think there’s a “good” way to handle this. I can’t think of a scenario that I don’t feel uncomfortable about on some level. It’s just a shitty situation all around.

  44. Broddie – did Marvel explain why Bruce Banner went from looking like Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo? Umm NO.

    And really you guys suggesting that a real life actor’s death be explained within this fictional universe by killing him off, isn’t that a little bit in bad taste?

    (I guess it could be worse. I’ve seen people online earlier today argue that they should somehow make Han come back from the grave and in turn show that it was Walker’s character that dies in a burning car. Like WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?)

  45. I’m always so torn about what a movie or tv show should do when one of the actors dies. It could come off as ridiculous and insulting to ignore the impact a death would have on the people involved in making the movie, along with the fans, by having the character just disappear and say he’s off living a life somewhere. It’s even worse if they write in the death and then barely cover it, sweeping it under the rug. On the other hand, making a big to-do over his death, in a product that is produced to make money, is so touchy.

    Movies are a mixture of art and commerce. They make some people lots and lots of money, but they do so by making the audience feel something, which is what art is about. I don’t like the snooty rationalization that something like a movie about car chases isn’t art. All of us here know differently. The F&F movies make people feel things – from excitement to the bond of family. I hope that they can use that talent of balancing cheap thrills and emotional connection to do right by both the man, who seems to have been a good guy that I’m sure they all loved, and the fans who enjoyed spending a little bit of time with him in a dark theater.

    RIP Paul Walker and my sympathies go to his family and friends.

  46. I’m going to go way out on a limb and say that this is an objectively sad and awful thing. Man, there really aren’t words, so I’ll just leave it there.

    As for the franchise, c’mon, RRA, no way they recast this role. Recasting is a tough thing to do, period. As far as I can tell, it only happens with minor characters or when there is a clean or near reboot of a pre-established iconic character. And even with iconic characters, the only time they typically get recast is in a clean reboot (Bond), a “when they were young” type prequel, or other reboot-like effort to clean the palette from a poorly received previous entry (i.e., every incarnation of Hulk prior to this last one). They couldn’t have easily replaced Christian Bale for Dark Knight or Dark Knight rises, but if it’s framed as a clean reboot, then you can do that kind of stuff.

    In the case of FF, it would be hella distracting, and there would be wicked crazy backlash if they tried to recast the role. Not a chance in hell. Also, the idea of giving him a heroic death or a “ride into the sunset” ending would be very cathartic for a lot of people and could if well-handled. I think that is the opposite of bad taste. Recasting the role as if to underscore Walker’s replace-ability in an ongoing series that is trying to maintain some continuity: That would be awful taste, hence its not-a-chance-in-hell-ness.

  47. *for people if well-handled

  48. “They couldn’t have easily replaced Christian Bale for Dark Knight or Dark Knight rises”

    Skani – Bullshit. If Bale couldn’t have returned for TDKR because he quit or fired or died, guess what? They would’ve replaced him and moved on. I mean don’t forget that in the 1990s we had 3 (REDACTED) movies* played by three different Bruce Waynes. (And remember Schumacher directed the last two of them under the same aesthetic/filmatic design.)

    I know alot of you are upset right now, have emotional ties to those movies but come on let’s try to think objectively here. Hell we didn’t seem this upset when Tom Hardy replaced Mad Mel for the new Mad Max movie.

    *=4 technically since (REDACTED): MASK OF THE PHANTASM went to theaters and thus 4 different Bruce Waynes.

  49. R.I.P. Paul Walker. Thanks for the action adventurism, we honor your contributions, we regret your loss.

  50. Amazing Larry – I could dig that idea.

    RRA – Again, this situation is in no way synonymous with characters that will still be portrayed in movies long after you and I are both dead. This is a character played by one guy who noticeably grew and aged within the series in the eyes of an entire generation.

    All while being played by that same guy because he wasn’t meant around to be forever like a comic book character. He’s supposed to be a regular guy who went from being a fed to being wanted and then becoming a family man. His arch is pretty much done anyway and there really isn’t anywhere else to narratively take him (as noted by Walker doubting he’d come back after part 7 in interviews). So why recast? there is no need and it would just be disrespectful.

    The Hulk could get recast because it’s a character that is meant to have serialized adventures. The possibilities of where to take him narratively are endless due to the flexibility. This is in no way the same case with a character that has pretty much served his purpose so much so that there was barely anything for him to do in the last movie (FAST & FURIOUS 6) without it seeming contrived.

  51. Also RE: MAD MAX

    Tom Hardy’s movie is 20 something years removed from the last Mad Max film. Miller always wanted Max to stay within a certain age range and Mel didn’t meet that criteria anymore, couple that with his controversies and that particular recast is much more easy to swallow regardless of how iconic Mel was as Max.

    Especially since he wasn’t just replaced by some incompetent actor anyway and this also guarantees that a series which is very serialized in it’s nature could keep on trucking beyond the 80’s. Mad Max unlike F&F is not a finite story it could go on for decades because again the character is designed to be that malleable in the first place.

  52. Yeah, I will file 20-years-later sequel under tha same general category of reboot, reset, pallete is clear situation.

  53. And, even in some of these special cases, I still find the recasting can mess with the suspension of disbelief. It was weird for me to have cheadle replace Howard in im. It was a little weird to have Downey in Norton hulk, then have ruffalo in avengers. These are minor “takes me out of the film” glitches in the matrix, but I still find them disruptive. Replacing walker would be strange, cinematically unsatisfying, and many (me, included) would perceive it as incredibly disrespectful.

  54. Also, Julianne Moore in Hannibal. That was really weird. I was able to see past it, but it’s weird, even without any Jodie Foster died a year ago type baggage.

  55. The difference between other recastings is that Paul Walker was part of a groupdynamic and not just a single character that could be easily replaced (Batman,James Bond). That is why I think the cast would think twice before accepting a replacement. RRA´s argument are those of an executives point of view, but the reality is more complicated than that. You just cannot simply recreate the dynamic with a new actor. It would at best be difficult, but also extremely awkward for whatever actor trying to fill that role and be a part of that family.

  56. Not just that, but even if you had the best possible replacement…even if Paul had an identical twin, it would be dodgy, not just in terms of cast chemistry but more importantly in the message such a decision communicates, viz. “This role is totally recastable, and we have no qualms about doing so within a couple of months of this horrible death. Some kind of reshaping the existing footage (to inclde a quasi-Brandon Lee / the crow approach) or a complete off screen write out is the only viable move.

    And when I talk about public perception, I don’t only mean this from the clinically detached actuarial perspective of the marketing douche who is mentally focus grouping various options, I mean in the more basic human decency sense: recasting this role any time soon would be a callous, hamhanded, cinematically unsatisfying tack, and most people would recognize it as such and be justifiably alienated.

  57. Did anybody see that TMZ video of Diesel at the crash site? He gives a heartfelt speech, then some dipshit working for that websight asks him about the status of F&TF 7. Honestly in retrospect I’m surprised Diesel didn’t deck him.

    Seriously humanity, what’s wrong with you?

  58. Please do not confuse TMZ with humanity. Completely different phylum.

  59. I think the best thing for them to do would be to start the movie with the entire cast and crew coming out and saying “yo everyone these movies are all about family, Paul Walker was a member of our film crew family and we love and miss him. We’re going to keep his scenes in the movie and do the best we can out of respect for him and the energy and performance he brought, but we did have to do some kludges to make it work. we hope you’ll agree that these small awkward moments are worth it to get Paul back into the movie.”

    God, I’m really upset about this, particularly after finding out that 10 years ago Walker bought a couple a military couple engagement ring anonymously after overhearing that they couldn’t afford it. The jewelrey story only revealed it was him after he died. This guy was a really good person who brought a lot of happiness and enjoyment to people and felt blessed to do it. His reward was to burn to death in a car. Life fucking sucks, man.

  60. Sad day here in South Africa. Madiba passed away.

    Rough week.

  61. Knox, as much as we all liked, respected and were saddened by Paul Walker’s death, the world lost a true hero in Nelson Mandela. You and your countrymen have my sympathies. The world, at large, is a better place because of him. I think, we can take solace that he lived a long life, much longer than he, himself, probably thought he would at times.

  62. HardlyWalken – You know off-topic, I’m reminded of when STAR TREK IV had that brief text opening dedicated to the Challenger shuttle victims.

    Knox H – And predictably, western right-wingers are trying to whitewash their support of the Apartheid regime by claiming Mandela really was a communist terrorist who thankfully was stopped or whatever bullshit. (Reminds me of the Kennedy clan trying their best to hide embarrasing positions they supported, like that RFK clerked for Joe McCarthy, a “family friend”.) Which is funny because they compared him to Castro and Lenin, but Mandella certainly helped avoid a potentially destructive civil war (which ROBOCOP predicted) which was how Castro and Lenin came to power. He came to power by the ballot. He also didn’t go whole-sale retribution against the old oligarchy/governmental powerbase as they did, which lets be honest is the rule not the exception in the history books. For that matter, he peacefully entered office and exited peacefully by his own choice after one term.

    Anyway we Americans are sorry about your great leader passing away. I don’t remember right off the top of my head the last time the U.S. lowered its flags half-mast for a foreign leader’s death, which our President did this weekend to honor Mandella. He certainly deserved that respect.

  63. As a human being I’m saddened by Nelson Mandela’s passing.

  64. Madiba’s greatest quality was that he could see anyone as a person of honour, even those who history would judge as villains.

    I saw it again and again during the time of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He had this ability to understand where people came from and what drove them. His philosophy was always that hate was taught and love came naturally.

  65. I got an early copy of FURIOUS 6 which includes a first look at FAST 7. I won’t spoil it for you but it’s pretty heavy. Brace yourselves.

  66. Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Franchise?

    Seriously, dude… don’t start a chum line and then NOT expect the sharks to appear.

    A little hint… would be nice. Does it dovetail with my being even remotely correct about that reworked F&F 7 scenario that gives closure to Paul Walker’s character?

  67. DVDs were produced well before Walker’s death and were intended to promote the summer release. It’s a scene reflecting on Han’s death and Brian’s role in the scene is eerily poignant now. I hope they can still make the movie the scene suggests but they may have to rework this scene anyway because it’s too eerie now.

  68. trailer for BRICK MANSIONS (Luc Besson’s Americanized remake of his own DISTRICT B13) with Paul Walker:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AjzueKAE7I

    This actually looks kinda fun as a B-actioneer? Walker and the orignal DB13 star in a buddy movie as they pull an ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK plot.

  69. Yeah, that does look alright. Wouldn’t it be funny if it was a proper sequel though, instead of a remake, and it’s just that the exact same shit happens to David Belle’s character again(except they’ve changed his sister to his girlfriend for some reason)?

  70. I’ve lost count, how many times has Besson more or less remade EFNY?

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>