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Paul Walker Replaced by CGI and Body Doubles in 'Fast & Furious 7'

by
March 24, 2014
Source: New York Daily News

Fast & Furious

With production on Fast & Furious 7 resuming this spring after Universal halted shooting following the tragic death of Paul Walker, it appears we know how director James Wan will finish the franchise sequel without one of his lead actors. Just as we heard that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay would need to partially recreate the late Philip Seymour Hoffman to finish some scenes that had yet to be completed, a source has told New York Daily News that some actors have been hired to act as body doubles, and visual effects will be used to superimpose Walker's face over them along with Walker's previously recorded lines.

The source says, "They have hired four actors with bodies very similar to Paul’s physique and they will be used for movement and as a base. Paul’s face and voice will be used on top using CGI.” Now before anyone gets bent out of shape, it seems pretty clear that this combination of body doubles and visual effects will likely only be used to complete the scenes that had already been shot, rather than shooting new stuff. Otherwise, someone would have to impersonate Walker's voice as well. So this method is probably being used to finish different angles of some sequences that were already in production.

The film is picking up shooting with six to eight weeks left of production in Atlanta, and the sequel has already been pushed backed to a release on April 10th, 2015 to allow enough time for the reworked film to be finished. Though we know how production will handle Walker's death, we're still not sure how his absence will effect the story. One rumor said Walker's character would simply be retired rather than morbidly being killed off, but that's still going to be tough to explain unless they just use Jordana Brewster and their new baby as a reason for him to finally walk away. We'll see.

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  • rolyjimenez
    I remember in one scene in the movie Running Scared, his brother acted as his double. You literally could not tell the difference. Maybe they'll do the same for this? We've lost too many good people this year.
  • DAVIDPD
    I mean how else were they going to do it? He'll most likely be in the first 10 minutes and drive away. I hope they find a way to keep Mia in the film(s).
    • Chris Groves
      They had been filming for like 3 months before he passed away, so I'm quite sure he'll be in a lot more than just the first 10 minutes. Seems he'll have a 'full role' and that they'll simply complete it with the body doubles and etc.
  • OfficialJab
    That's a bummer, but I guess it would work out better than writing him out with no scenes.
  • Chris Groves
    I'm okay with this. He did film quite a huge hunk of his scenes for the film(I beliee roughly half)...so at least there will be his actual performance mixed in with the doubles and the recreations....as opposed to it being 90% body doubles and CGI. I think I prefer this to some overt/convenient 'writing him out of the movie' scenario where his character is off screen and some kind of 'explanation' is given to him not being in the rest of the film.
  • cobrazombie
    A good and acceptable way to honor his memory.
  • John M
    As far as VFX have come, they will need to be careful because the one thing they still have not convinced me on is close-ups/medium shots of human faces in CGI. But this can work if done in a smart and tasteful way. I hope all goes well, James Wan is a talented guy and I think he will do his best to make the movie great while honoring Walker.
    • jayman419
      They managed to finish "The Crow" back in 1994. While most of the movie was finished, they had several essential scenes (including the one of Draven first putting on the makeup and the character's death, among others). I doubt you'll see them try to use doubles for well-lit close shots.
  • VAharleywitch
    I suspect there's also a very quiet hunt on, for a VA that sounds like Paul. In case some of the unfilmed scenes require adjustments in his pre-recorded dialogue.

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