Universal Pictures will release Fast & Furious 7 on April 10, 2015, series star Vin Diesel announced on his Facebook page late Sunday.
The action pic is now in position to lead the summer box office, as it will bow three weekends ahead of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
While the studio hasn’t publicly commented on the delay, the move suggests major rewrites are needed following the death of actor Paul Walker, who portrayed Brian O’Conner in five of the six Fast films.
Walker will be featured in Fast & Furious 7, but it’s unknown how much of the footage featuring the actor will be used. One scene featuring O’Conner and several other characters at a funeral was included on the recent Fast & Furious 6 Blu-Ray release.
It’s safe to assume none of the footage that’s been shot is guaranteed to make it into the final film.
Universal had planned to release Fast & Furious 7 next July, so an extra nine months leaves filmmakers enough time to add or remove other characters from the story if necessary.
The new release date means the franchise will be joining the likes of Jurassic Park, Terminator, Bourne, Mad Max and the aforementioned Avengers at the summer 2015 box office.
It’s a crowded schedule, but Fast & Furious 7 is now at the head of the pack, instead of the middle of the field.
Universal is also betting on history with the move, as the fourth and fifth Fast entries were both released to great success in April 2009 and 2011, respectively.