'Fast & Furious 7' Adds One More Cast Member as the Budget Rises
by Ethan Anderton
May 23, 2014
Production on Fast & Furious 7 is still underway, but they're in the home stretch in Los Angeles now. Paul Walker's brothers are helping director James Wan complete production by acting as body doubles for his brother, and visual effects will superimpose his face over theirs' when necessary. In fact, one more recent cast member was just added in the form of Latin-American singer Romeo Santos. The news (via Deadline) was revealed when Vin Diesel took the stage with Santos at a concert in Los Angeles. Of course, we don't know how significant his role will be, but since it's late in production it's probably not going to be very big. Meanwhile, as production continues, the budget on the Universal film is getting a little out of hand now.
Fast & Furious 7 has a budget that could end up reaching $250 million due to the delayed production schedule, special effects needed to replace the Walker brothers with the digital face of their late brother. THR has the report and explains how all the wizardry is coming together to keep Walker in the film:
"The Walker brothers, 25-year-old Cody and 36-year-old Caleb, both are helping fill in for their brother physically -- Caleb primarily for body size and mannerisms and Cody for the eyes. But the filmmakers need to create a character that not only looks like Paul but also performs like him. That's the actor's job. Peter Jackson's Weta is tackling the effects work using three cameras (in addition to the main-unit cameras) to capture Walker's stand-ins for face replacement. 'There is a massive amount of gear,' reports the source. 'Everything they want with Paul gets done three times over. Three [actors] times seven cameras per shot is a clusterf--- of money being spent.' Director James Wan also will come up with new scenes from unused footage Walker had shot for the previous two Fast & Furious films."
But the biggest surprise cost is that of a $50 million insurance claim following the death of Paul Walker last year. That certainly makes the film significantly more expensive than initially thought. The film was already going to cost $200 million before insurance, but the extra $50 million is 25% of the original budget added on top, so that's a pretty big deal. However, with as big as the Fast & Furious franchise as gotten and how many fans will be wanting to see the final performance of Paul Walker, there shouldn't be any problem turning a profit for Universal. Fast & Furious 7 arrives April 10th, 2015.