Fast & Furious 7 – A Tribute

by ChinaBambi

The ending to Furious 7 was probably one of the most difficult tasks ever undertaken by a Hollywood director.

James Wan was directing his first in the franchise when Paul Walker tragically died.

Paul’s reputation is that of a really good human being and a great guy and just so down to earth. He was all of that and more when I finally met him. James Wan, director

Following Walker’s death, a tough decision had to be made about what the fate of his character Brian O’Conner would be. Wan absolutely refused to kill off the character as it was no way to honour him.

If they had gone down the other path, I think I would have refused to finish making the movie. We took a lot of care in crafting that last end sequence.

First, they made sure that Brian’s family with Mia was growing and that he wouldn’t be able to continue his life of insane stunts in crazy cars.

Then they had to make sure all the other characters were able to say goodbye to Brian despite Walker being dead and obviously unable to film. They managed this by getting Walker’s brothers Cody and Caleb to act the final scenes and digitally animated Walker’s face on top of theirs.

Finally, they had to come up with a set of images that would honour Brian and Walker’s place in the Fast and Furious franchise. Wan came up with two ideas.

The first was a montage of scenes of Walker from all the Fast and Furious movies. The second was ‘one last ride’ with Brian and Dom (Vin Diesel) driving their cars into the horizon and the cars splitting at a fork in the road.

We talked about them parting in their separate ways conceptually and I loved that idea. I knew I wanted the camera to stay with Paul as his car drives off with the shot just panning up into the sunset and fading white. It had to fade to white.

Wan said spending so much time with Walker on set before his tragic death meant editing the final scenes in the movie without him there made it all the more difficult.

That was hard. Even now, just talking about it is tough. Every time I watch the end of the movie it is still a tough, tough one to get through.

Furious 7 didn’t just race to the top of the box office — it lapped the competition.

The latest installment in the Fast and Furiousfranchise sped away with a record-breaking $143.6 million for the Easter weekend, according to studio estimates from box-office tracking firm Rentrak.

The explosive action blockbuster zooms past the debut of 2013’s Fast and Furious 6($97.4 million, then a franchise best) and becomes the ninth-biggest U.S. opening of all time (eclipsed only by Spider-Man 3‘s $151.1 million, according to Box Office Mojo). It’s also the biggest April opening ever (beating Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s $95 million last year) and the largest debut of 2015 so far (easily topping Fifty Shades of Grey‘s $93 million for the four-day Valentine’s Day/Presidents’ Day weekend).

“To say it obliterated expectations is an understatement,” says Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Rentrak. With its combination of popcorn entertainment and tribute to late, longtime franchise star Paul Walker, “it just took off and had a life of its own, and filled theaters in a very summer-style way.” With very little direct competition for male audiences until Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, “it should put a ton of money in the box office tank for the next month.”

Source: The Lad Bible & USA TODAY

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