‘Fast & Furious 7’ Budget Balloons as CG Paul Walker Adds $50 Million


Paul Walker Fast and Furious 7 face replacement

Photo: Universal Pictures

The Hollywood Reporter has an update on the status of Fast & Furious 7 as the production budget on the film has ballooned to $250 million in the wake of Paul Walker‘s death. Originally expected to cost $200 million, the additional $50 million has become a source of tension between Universal and the film’s insurer, Fireman’s Fund.

In addition to this, a source tells THR the film will be finished “more or less as scripted” with Walker’s role as Brian replaced using CG face replacement through the help of Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody Walker, but that’s not the end of it:

“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.

James Wan is directing the film and this will make for quite the curious. Will we be stuck trying to figure out when we’re actually seeing the real Walker vs. the CG Walker? How will it affect the performances of the other actors, not as if the Fast and Furious franchise has been a hotbed for wonderful performances, but something like this does sound like it could affect the mojo and for $250 million?

That’s quite a hefty sum, though given the $788+ million Fast & Furious 6 brought in, I’m sure the studio will be fine and we’ll get Fast & Furious 8 soon enough.

Fast and Furious 7 is set for an April 10, 2015 release.