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'Fast & Furious 7' shutdown is a loss for Georgia film business

'Fast & Furious 7' shutdown is a loss for Georgia film business
Actor Paul Walker arrives for the world premiere of "Fast and Furious 6" in London. Universal Productions scrapped production of "Fast & Furious 7," which had been filming in Georgia. (Will Oliver / EPA)

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Universal Pictures' decision Wednesday to shut down production of "Fast & Furious 7" following the death of star Paul Walker is a blow to Georgia's burgeoning film industry.

"Fast & Furious 7" was among the biggest movies to date to film in Georgia, which has experienced a surge in production since 2008, when the state expanded its film tax credit from 15% to a maximum of 30%.

The film tax credit was one of the chief draws for "Fast & Furious 7," which began production in Georgia on Sept. 9 and was scheduled to shoot through Jan. 10, according to the Georgia Film Office. Filming was due to resume after the Thanksgiving weekend but was halted following Walker's death in a car accident in Valencia on Saturday.

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The studio released a statement Wednesday confirming that it won't be resuming production on the movie's Atlanta set for an undefined period.

"'Fast & Furious' is one of the largest film productions we have had in Georgia,'' said Stefanie Paupeck, spokeswoman for the Georgia Film Office.

The movie has an estimated budget of about $160 million and employed more than 100 crew members. It was also scheduled to shoot in Abu Dhabi.

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Most recently, the "Fast & Furious" crew had been filming at a new development in Gwinnett County called the Atlanta Media Campus & Studios, where producers had built sets and used a large blue screen outside, Paupeck said.

Other "Fast & Furious 7" filming locations included downtown Atlanta, including the Georgia World Congress Center, Ft. Gillem, and a rock quarry in Stockbridge.

Georgia is now one of the leading film destinations outside of California.

Film productions generated $3.3 billion in economic impact in Georgia during fiscal year 2013, according to a recent report from the Film Office.

In addition to "Fast & Furious 7," the state is hosting the two installments of "The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay" ("The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" also filmed in Georgia), "Dumb and Dumber To," and "Barely Lethal" with Jessica Alba, as well as several TV shows, including the hit AMC series "The Walking Dead," which is based in Senoia,  and the new AMC series, "Halt & Catch Fire."

For the record, December 6: A previous version of this post described "Barely Lethal" as a TV series. It is a movie.

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