Producers of an upcoming film starring actor Paul Walker, who died tragically in a fiery California car crash Saturday, say they’re sticking to the planned release date of December 13.
The drama focused on Hurricane Katrina is called Hours and sees Walker taken a decidedly more serious turn that producers say makes it all the more important for the film to go forward.
‘After lots of back and forth, this is our decision. It's Paul's tour de force. He's in every frame of the movie,’ said Paul Presburger, CEO of Pantelion Films.
The Hollywood Reporter points out that the film’s subject matter may have been one of great personal interest to Walker.
The 40-year-old father of one had a charity he founded in 2010 in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
And his own tragedy came during a Santa Clarita, California charity function on Saturday for those affected by the recent typhoon in the Philippines.
‘Hours embodies a message that was so important to him, which is that you have to do everything you can to keep friends and family safe,’ producer Peter Safran told the Hollywood Reporter.
Walker was killed when the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT he was in with his friend and former race car driver Roger Rodas, 38, went out of control and smashed into a tree.
Now, audiences in 15 select U.S. cities and video on demand viewers will be able to see the film producers say was the late actor’s passion project starting December 13.
Co-starring Genesis Rodriguez, the film follows Walker after hurricane that devastated New Orleans in 2005.
Walker and Rodriguez play a couple about to become parents whose lives take a tragic turn when their baby is born with an illness during the chaos that came with Katrina.
‘He was looking for something to showcase his acting skills, which he so rarely had the chance to do. He hit it out of the park,’ Safran told THR.
‘Paul would have very much wanted us to move forward. He was incredibly proud of this project. We did a press junket two weeks ago, and I remember sitting with him and how excited he was for people to see this movie. He really looked to this movie to show people that he is an actor,’ the producer said.
Walker died just before he was set to shoot key scenes for Fast & Furious 7 in Atlanta. Producers of that film must now decide how to move forward.
Fast & Furious 7 was set to be released in July of 2014 and remained unfinished, so Universal must either change the plot of the upcoming film in a way that addresses Walker’s death or scrap the film altogether.