Fast & Furious 7 director uses CGI, late actor’s brothers to continue filming

fast furious 7 brings weta paul walkers brothers complete late actors role walker cgi

When actor Paul Walker died during the filming of Fast & Furious 7, there was no shortage of questions surrounding the future of both the film and the franchise. While many of those questions have been answered — the film is continuing more or less as planned, with body doubles and CGI to fill in Walker’s role — one lingering question remains: how exactly will Walker’s role in the film be “completed”?

Clarity comes from an unnamed source “with ties to the project,” speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. “They are finishing the film more or less as scripted, replacing Paul with [computer-generated] face replacement,” the source said. “They have two of Paul’s brothers as well as an actor to ‘play’ Paul when needed.”

The 36-year-old Caleb Walker fills in for his departed brother’s body and mannerisms and the 25-year-old Cody Walker supplies the eyes. The third piece of this puzzle — the unnamed actor — handles the performance, working to replicate Paul’s work as closely as possible. The production team is working with Weta Digital to work its movie magic on this conglomeration of performances, with three cameras being used specifically for the face replacement process.

“Everything they want with Paul gets done three times over. Three [actors] times seven cameras per shot is a clusterf— of money being spent,” the source said. Director James Wan is also incorporating unused Walker footage from the previous two Fast & Furious films.

Already budgeted as a $200 million production, Fast & Furious 7 could end up costing more than $250 million, with the studio’s insurer covering around $50 million of that price tag . The $50 million insurance claim would cover the cost of shooting each of Walker’s scenes multiple times with body doubles, the CGI process used to put Walker’s face on the stand-ins, and all of the necessary script edits resulting from the actor’s death. It would also be an industry record for insurance claims.

Taking out insurance on big-budget films is standard operating procedure for most Hollywood films these days, with studios hoping to protect their projects in the event of unexpected events that affect production time and completion of the film. Prior to Fast & Furious 7, the largest recorded insurance settlements were $10-15 million paid out when Robert Downey Jr. broke his ankle while filming Iron Man 3 in 2012 and an earlier settlement for $20 million when John Candy died during the filming of Wagons East! in 1994. 

The final tally of how much Walker’s death will cost the studio and its insurer won’t be known until well after Fast & Furious 7 completes its shooting schedule in July, and with two more films planned after this installment, it will be interesting to see how the studio adjusts its plans for the subsequent films in the franchise.

Fast & Furious 7 is currently scheduled to hit theaters April 10, 2015.

Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Michelle Yeoh reportedly in talks for stand-alone ‘Star Trek’ show

Reports claims that actress Michelle Yeoh is in talks to reprise her Star Trek: Discovery role in a spin-off series. The series will focus on Georgiou being recruited into Section 31, a secretive organization within Starfleet.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Buster Scruggs,’ ‘Missing Link,’ ‘Mowgli’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mortal Engines, and the first trailer for Missing…
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Room 104,’ German thriller ‘Beat,’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Room 104 returns for a second season, Robert the Bruce fights for Scotland's throne, and more.
Business

‘The Grinch’ steals the box-office crown from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch is the new box-office champion, knocking off Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and posting a better opening weekend than Jim Carrey's 2000 live-action film based on the character.
Movies & TV

The ‘Toy Story 4’ teaser trailer is here to fork with your emotions

Disney released the first teaser trailer for its latest addition to the Toy Story franchise. The quick glimpse of what's to come shows all our favorite toys back in action, as well as a strange -- and seemingly unhinged -- new character.
Gaming

Everyone’s favorite Pokémon turns gumshoe in ‘Detective Pikachu’ trailer

The first Detective Pikachu trailer has arrived, and it looks like a video game movie could actually be good? Voiced by Ryan Reynolds, Pikachu is undeniably cute in what is shaping up to be a family-friendly buddy comedy.
Movies & TV

Stan Lee has died: Marvel Comics icon and legendary creator dead at 95

Stan Lee, one of the world's most important and iconic comic-book authors, has died at the age of 95. Creator of some of the most famous and beloved superheroes and villains of all time, Lee leaves behind an indelible legacy.
Movies & TV

He created comics, movies, and superheroes. But Stan Lee lived for joy

Stan Lee was a creator, a celebrity, an icon, and beneath it all, a real-life good guy with all the same human qualities that made his superheroes so relatable. And his greatest joy was sharing his creations with the world.