Actor Paul Walker‘s death last Saturday was not in any way ironic; it was a terrible tragedy. The manner in which he died is ultimately less important than the fact that he died in the prime of his life and left a teenage daughter behind.
We mention his passing in order to explore the challenges it presents for Universal Studios, producer of the Fast and Furious franchise that made him famous. This New York Times piece discusses the business of completing the upcoming sequel without Walker, but avoids touching on the PR concerns that will almost certainly arise around the film’s planned release this summer.
The point is that the series, which has been criticized for glamorizing dangerous driving, will now face increased scrutiny. In the past, the studio addressed the public’s concerns by adding safe driving PSAs to the DVD releases; here is one such clip recorded by Walker himself.
This video is especially haunting because it echoes a similar PSA recorded by James Dean before he died in a car accident nearly 60 years ago.