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'Fast & Furious 7' Adds One More Cast Member as the Budget Rises

by
May 23, 2014

Romeo Santos

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.

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  • MikeBlacklist
    I'm not sure the note about the insurance claim adding to the budget is correct.
    • I'm Batman
      Agreed. The whole idea of an insurance claim is so that the studio is insured against costs that they'd incur if something happened to the actor (exactly what has happened). If anything, sure, maybe they're paying more to figure out the effects for using Paul Walker's brothers, but the $50M referenced is most likely money that they'll RECEIVE because they likely had an insurance policy covering Paul Walker's ability to be in the entire production process.
      • Chris Groves
        That's how I interpreted it. The $50 million is the amount they'll receive, and whether it gets added to the proper budget or not, it won't be $50 million that Universal spent.
  • Jon Odishaw
    With The success of previous entries and the rise in the quality of the films I'm sure this one will make the money back and then some.
    • Jon Odishaw
      And wow that bit where it says Cody will fill in for the eyes it straight In the feels
    • Chris Groves
      If all things had gone normally, this film would almost be ensured to hit $850 million worldwide. But now, I hate to say it, but Walker's death only "elevates" general interest/publicity/morbid curiosity about the film...so it will only be a bigger 'event' when it finally comes out. The fact that they are using CGI, his brothers, stock footage and stock audio to complete the performance makes it a pretty impressive technical endeavor as well. Audiences will be all over this one. Plus they have a really impressive ensemble cast built for this one, even more-so than previous entries.
  • DAVIDPD
    Money should not be an issue with this film, it will surely make double, triple, quadruple what they put into it.
  • http://visualizeasian.com Suchet B
    Money should definitely not be an issue as it's also quite a significant movie in the Fast and Furious series because it brings the timeline full circle and back to Tokyo Drift (FF7 timeline will scale events before, during and after the events of Tokyo Drift - its a sequel, a prequel and alternative view of the timeline in Tokyo Drift) and it will be with the complete cast of main characters of the series appearing together for the first time. I am looking forward to seeing Lucas Black's character return and share the screen with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel but it will also be sad that its Paul Walker's last one.

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