INTERNET (DECEMBER 22, 2013) (FACEBOOK.COM/VINDIESEL) - The release of "Fast & Furious 7," the big-budget action film that was shut down in November after the death of actor Paul Walker in a car crash, has been pushed back nine months to April 2015, Universal Pictures said on Monday (December 23).
The seventh installment of the popular series about illegal street racing, crime and heists will be released on April 10, 2015, Universal said in a statement. It said that series star Vin Diesel and the late Walker would "lead the returning cast."
Diesel, also one of the producers, first announced the new release date on Facebook on Sunday (December 22).
Diesel posted a message on his Facebook page saying "Fast and Furious 7 will be released ... April 10th 2015!," adding "P.s. He'd want you to know first ...," in an apparent reference to Walker.
The film, the seventh in a series of hit films about car racing, was originally slated for release on July 11 next year, according to Universal Pictures.
Walker, who became a symbol of car racing and car culture in his role as law enforcement officer Brian O'Conner in the "Fast & Furious" series, was a passenger in a red Porsche Carrera GT sports car that crashed on Nov. 30 in Santa Clarita, Calif. about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
The car careened off of a street, struck a utility pole and burst into flames, also killing driver Roger Rodas. Authorities have yet to determine the cause of the accident but have said that speed probably played a role.
The Diesel-led "Fast & Furious" movies, which have grossed more than $2 billion at the global box office, are one of two major franchises, along with the animated "Despicable Me" films, that helped turn around Universal Pictures in recent years.