By Jake Coyle
AP Film Writer
Universal Pictures has delayed the release of “Fast & Furious 7” for almost a year after the death of star Paul Walker.
The studio announced Monday that the “Fast & Furious” sequel will be released in April 2015, instead of July next year. Shooting on the film was about halfway finished when the 40-year-old Walker died in a car crash outside of Los Angeles. Walker still will appear in the film, though Universal has not said exactly how it will handle his unfinished performance.
Co-star Vin Diesel first posted the news on Facebook, telling his fans that, “He’d want you to know first.”
The franchise has been one of Universal’s most lucrative, grossing almost $2.4 billion worldwide since 2001. The last film, “Fast & Furious 6,” made $789 million.
Production on “Fast & Furious 7” was on Thanksgiving break when Walker and his friend, Roger Rodas, died in a fiery crash in Valencia on Nov. 30. Officials have said speed is believed to be the cause.
Shooting on “Fast & Furious 7” had been planned to resume in Atlanta two days after the crash, but Universal suspended production indefinitely.