Next ‘Fast and Furious’ installment due in 2015

Next ‘Fast and Furious’ installment due in 2015

DUE OUT IN 2015: ast member and producer Vin Diesel poses at the premiere of the new film, "Fast & Furious 6" at Universal Citywalk in Los Angeles May 21. Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser

NEW YORK (Reuters) – “Fast and Furious 7,” the action film that was shut down after the sudden death in a car crash last month of actor Paul Walker will be released in April 2015, the star of the series, Vin Diesel, said on Sunday.

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, who was killed on November 30 in a fiery car wreck in Santa Clarita in Southern California.

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, which is owned by Comcast Corp.

Walker became a symbol of street-racing and car culture in his role as law enforcement officer Brian O’Conner in the “Fast & Furious” series.

Days after the accident, which killed the car’s driver as well as Walker, 40, Universal suspended production of the new movie.

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.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

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