As Fast & Furious 7‘s budget approaches the $250-million mark, Universal has revealed that director James Wan and the visual effects team will use face-replacement technology to pay tribute to the late Paul Walker in what will be his final film. Universal and WETA, the company behind Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, are using three cameras to capture the movements and features of Walker’s brothers, who are standing in for the actor in the role of Brian O’Conner.
25-year-old Cody Walker and 36-year-old Caleb Walker are on set, with Cody helping with the eyes and Caleb being used for body size and mannerisms. This will ensure that O’Conner both looks like and performs like Walker without too much CGI enhancement. These final set days are certainly costing the studio a great deal of money, but they’re also allowing the film to be completed with Walker in a way that will honor both his life and his work in the blockbuster franchise.
“There is a massive amount of gear,” one source from the set told The Hollywood Reporter. “Everything they want with Paul gets done three times over.”
Fast & Furious 7 recently resumed its shoot, which caps off with an expensive, effects-heavy 13 weeks. Nevertheless, there is still enough time left in the production to add Romeo Santos, a Latin-American Grammy-nominated singer, to the cast. With nearly 20 million Facebook fans, Santos should cater heavily to Hispanic audiences, who have helped drive the series to its blockbuster status. No word yet on which role he’ll play, but it will likely be a smaller supporting part.
Santos, Walker, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and Jordana Brewster will zoom into cinemas on April 10, 2015, when Fast & Furious 7 finally arrives.
Source: Total Film