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Vin Diesel (L) and Paul Walker

*Universal has decided not to kill off Paul Walker’s character in the upcoming seventh installment of its “The Fast and The Furious” franchise, according to sources for The Hollywood Reporter.

Instead, the plan is to “retire” the character of Brian O’Conner in a way that the studio hopes will satisfy fans of the franchise and make use of the existing footage of Walker, whose fatal Nov. 30 car crash took place about halfway through the “Fast 7” shoot.

In the weeks after the tragedy, director James Wan, writer Chris Morgan and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, Universal’s lead executive on the “Fast” films, pored over the footage Wan had shot.

According to THR, the trio then worked out a plan to tweak the existing script so that Walker would remain a part of the story but could be written out, allowing the franchise to continue without him.

The changes will require some additional scenes to be written and shot, but the eight-month delay of release provides plenty of time.

As previously reported, the film is now set for release April 10, 2015.