In a fascinating write-up over at The Hollywood Reporter, much detail is given into the enormous challenge Universal and the cast & crew behind Fast & Furious 7 are taking on to complete the film, months after the passing of franchise star Paul Walker when filming was only halfway done.
Besides the massive insurance claim the studio is looking to file (which can be read more in-depth here) in the realm of $50 million, the technical difficulties of competing a movie when your co-lead only completed half his scenes is particularly daunting.
Currently, the film is in the midst of a grueling, 13-week, effects heavy shoot to finish what was put on hold last November 30th.
In lengthy detail given by a source behind filming, the following stated in regards to how the late Paul Walker's scenes will be finished:
"They are finishing the film more or less as scripted, replacing Paul with [computer-generated] face replacement," says this person. "They have two of Paul's brothers as well as an actor to 'play' Paul when needed." (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."
The peice also adds how director James Wan plans to use unused footage from the previous two Fast & Furious installments to help aid with completing scenes.
While it must be a huge obstacle - both emotionally and technically - to finish a film of this nature when such a huge peice of the franchise is gone, it's refreshing to hear the studio is doing everything they can to ensure things are done the best possible.
Below you'll see a few pics from filming recently where Paul's brother, Cody, is standing in during what looks to be a 'goodbye' scene to 'retire' the Brian O'Conner character, as the studio had stated they would be doing (notice the dots on Cody's face for digital alignment purposes).
Fast & Furious 7 hits theaters April 10, 2015.