On the night of November 30th actor Paul Walker (best known from his role as Bryan O’Conner in the Fast and Furious franchise) died in a car accident. According to multiple sources Walker was in a friend’s to attend a fundraiser by the organisation Reach Out Worldwide, an organization founded by Walker himself which intends to raise funds to quickly help the victims of natural catastophies. The fundraiser Walker was attending was dedicated to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Philippines).
On Walker’s official facebook page the following statement can be found:
It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences.
As a big fan of the F&F movies I am shocked by this news. While I never actively followed Walker’s career outside of the Fast and Furious series I have always liked his portayal of O’Conner. Growing up as a teenager watching the first The Fast and the Furious (2001) I was in the very target demographic who wanted to be just like Walker. He carried the weight of introducing the audience to this crazy world of cars and racing and went from a rookie to a racer equal to Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto so it was only natural to like him.
If it hadn’t been for the return of the two original protagonists the series probably would have faded away quickly since the character of Bryan O’Conner and his rivalry and eventual family connection to Vin Diesel is one of the strongest parts in the cars and action franchise. Walker’s unfortunate fate leaves the fate of the seventh Fast and Furious (directed by James Wan) film unclear.
There has yet to be an official word but speculations about delays and rewrites are reported (head over to eonline and THR for more) since some scenes set in Abu Dhabi have yet to be shot. For a collection of reactions to Walker’s unfortunate accident see hitfix where you can find a list of Tweets by the likes of Vin Diesel, James Franco, Roland Emmerich and others).