Given the tragedy that surrounded its production following the death of Paul Walker, it’s almost hard to believe that Furious 7 is now a mere week away from release. But despite all of the high-octane action glimpsed in the numerous trailers that have been put out, it’s clear that the cast and crew are paying a lot of respect to the late actor as the project barrels down on the finish line.
As a matter of fact, it was Weta Digital who helped complete Walker’s scenes in the upcoming sequel by using archived Fast and Furious footage as a reference point. Speaking to /Film, franchise producer Neal Moritz had this to say on the matter:
Then it came to how could we actually finish Furious 7. We had shot most of the movie with Paul, but we wondered how we were actually going to make this work. I have to say, he was looking down on us. Because of unused footage that we had from previous movies and the use of new technology, we were able to complete the film inspired by Paul’s spirit and give him and his best-known character a perfect cinematic send-off. This movie is a testament to his legacy.
Though Moritz doesn’t delve into the technical minutia involved in the process, it’s understood that Walker’s two brothers, Cody and Caleb, were also used during post-production. As for director James Wan, the matter still remains close to his heart, but the ultimate goal for both himself and the rest of the team was to ensure the audience could enjoy the film for its own right without worrying about what went on behind the scenes.
I’m not gonna say specifically what was what, because I think it’s very important that people go into this movie not fixated on trying to work out which is Paul, which isn’t Paul. I want them to just watch the movie and enjoy the film and be caught up in the emotion of it all. We worked so hard so that they don’t have to do that.
And so I think that’s very important and I don’t wanna kind of fuel that fire so to speak. Maybe years from now, I’ll talk about it or maybe at a later day on the track. But needless to say, yes, I wanted to use as much of real Paul as I could.
Furious 7 will act as Paul Walker’s final screen presence when it arrives in theaters on April 3. For more on Wan’s maiden entry into the petrolhead franchise, you can check out our own review.