The release of Fast & Furious 7 is still months away, but the franchise's production team is already looking ahead to future installments. Following the tragic death of series star Paul Walker last November, it was revealed that the actor's brothers Caleb and Cody would serve as stand-ins for his character Brian O'Conner so that Paul's final Fast film could be completed. Now it's being reported that Cody Walker will appear in future Fast & Furious films, according to The Daily Mail, who spoke to a production source. However rather than replace Paul as Brian, Cody, a trained actor and stuntman, is said to be portraying a new character.
If there are going to be additional Fast & Furious films after the seventh installment, this is one of the best ways to honor Walker's memory in the films without demeaning his important role. When it was first revealed that Cody and Caleb were filling in for Paul in Fast & Furious 7, there was cause for concern. No fan wants to see Brian's appearance suddenly change after six and a half movies, even if the new actor strongly resembles him. However once it was confirmed that the two would only stand-in for Paul, mainly for the few remaining action scenes, most doubts disappeared.
Cody and Caleb themselves, as well as their mother and the Fast & Furious team, have all made it clear that they are content with the new arrangement, and if the people closest to Paul are pleased, fans should be reassured that everything is being done with complete respect for his legacy. This latest report, which Universal Pictures has not yet commented on, does not change that.
By adding Cody as a new character, following Brian's retirement in Fast & Furious 7, the film's team would be keeping Paul's memory alive in future films, even when his character is absent. There are no details about Cody's character, but based on his resemblance to Paul, it's my assumption that he would play someone related to Brian.
Fast & Furious 7 is set to be released on April 10, 2015.