With the death of Paul Walker last November Fast & Furious 7 was thrown into turmoil, first looking like the franchise was over, but then it was announced that the movie would be finished with the help of Walker’s two brothers, Cody and Caleb, who would stand in for the actor in his last few scenes.
However, it seems that this is now “the largest insurance claim in Hollywood history. THR reports that there is growing tension between Universal Pictures and its insurer Fireman’s Fund over the size of the claim – one said to be in the ballpark of $50 million” according to Darkhorizons
The movie is “in the midst of a visual effects-packed 13-week shoot culminating with an enormous crowd scene in Rosamond, California. Before Walker’s death in November, Fast and Furious 7 was originally budgeted at $200 million. Universal is said to be covering what it would have cost to complete the project had the accident not occurred, and now the dispute lies over the extra costs that have been incurred – costs which are said to have pushed the film’s total budget closer to $250 million.”
However, despite the money, the studio seems confident and will finish pretty much as scripted with a CGI face replacement for Walker with Caleb and Cody acting the part when needed and the final part will be – are you ready for this? - “an amalgamation of 25-year-old Cody Walker’s eyes, 36-year-old Caleb Walker’s body and mannerisms, and the stand-in actor’s performance which will deliberately mimic Walker’s style.” On top of all this, director James Wan will create scenes from unused footage Walker had shot for the previous films.
The work will be done by Peter Jackson’s Weta, using three cameras and main unit cameras that will capture the stand -in faces, a source said: “There is a massive amount of gear. Everything they want with Paul gets done three times over. Three [actors] times seven cameras per shot is a clusterf— of money being spent”.
But the money isn’t all going to the effects house as during the four months the cast were paid to stay ready and some script rewrites were necessary
It’s not just that though, the more than four months of delay of the production has led to more costs such as paying the cast to stick around, along with extra script work by writer Chris Morgan.
So, is it worth it? Will it be a fitting tribute to the late actor? Let us know your thoughts as usual…