Production on the upcoming film in the "Fast & Furious" franchise will be shut down for "a period of time" after the death of star Paul Walker in a fiery car crash.
In a statement released Wednesday, Universal Pictures said production will be temporarily halted so "all options" can be assessed.
Read: Preliminary Autopsy Findings
"Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul's immediate family and our extended Fast & Furious family of cast, crew and filmmakers," according to the statement. "At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on Fast & Furious 7 for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise. We are committed to keeping Fast & Furious fans informed, and we will provide further information to them when we have it. Until then, we know they join us in mourning the passing of our dear friend Paul Walker."
Walker, who starred in all but one of the six blockbusters, and friend Roger Rodas were killed Saturday when their Porsche Carrera GT supercar crashed into a light pole and tree, then burned on a street in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Details regarding preliminary autopsy findings released Wednesday indicated the men suffered burn injuries and trauma, and that Walker likely survived the impact, but died in the subsequent fire.
Fans of Walker and the "Fast & Furious" movies have turned the crash site into a memorial with flowers, cards and other items. Walker rode the franchise to fame, beginning with the first film in 2001.
After a string of TV roles as a child in the 1980s, including small roles on "Who's the Boss" and "Charles in Charge," Walker made his feature film debut in the 1998 comedy "Meet the Deedles." Supporting roles in the films "Pleasantville," "Varsity Blues" and "Flags of Our Fathers" followed.
His performance in the 2000 thriller "The Skulls" caught the eye of producer Neal H. Moritz, who cast him in "The Fast and the Furious" as undercover police officer Brian O'Conner. Adapted from a Vibe magazine article about underground street races, the film became an unexpected hit.
In the sequel, "2 Fast 2 Furious," Walker moved to center stage with Diesel temporarily dropping out. Walker, a self-described "gearhead," kept his character's sports car from the film.
Saturday's fatal crash remains under investigation, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has said investigators do not believe Rodas and Walker were racing another driver. Investigators have indicated that speed was a factor in the crash, which occurred in a 45-mph zone.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC 10 Philadelphia