Report: Latest Thinking at Universal About 'Fast & Furious 7' Since Paul Walker's Death THR

"The fiery crash that took Paul Walker's life has plunged Universal Pictures into an unprecedented crisis," writes Kim Masters for The Hollywood Reporter, adding, "Executives are trying to find a way to salvage footage already shot for 'Fast & Furious 7' instead of starting fresh."

The story continues: "Sources say writer Chris Morgan now is at work crafting revisions to the script that Universal execs hope can retire Walker's character from the series using scenes already shot. If he succeeds, cast and crew could be called back to work by late January -- but that's a big if."

The article also notes: "Studio chairman Donna Langley -- in her first major leadership test since being promoted in September -- and production co-president Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, the lead exec on the 'Fast' movies, were designated to run point on finding a creative solution for the franchise. According to a knowledgeable source, the studio already has poured about $150 million into the film, a bill that its insurance firm, Fireman's Fund, might have to pay in full if Universal concludes the picture must be started anew. Fireman's Fund declined comment, as did Universal."