When Paul Walker died in a car accident last November, fans of the actor’s work in the long-running action movie franchise Fast and Furious were assured that Walker’s character, cop Brian O’Conner, would be “retired” from the next film, Fast and Furious 7. The release date was pushed back until April 2015 to accommodate screenwriting changes.
Whatever adjustments were made to the script, writing Walker out of it wasn’t one of them. Apparently film production company Universal realized that they’d make a lot more money by keeping Walker in the picture, so they came up with a workaround: A source told the New York Daily News that there are four body doubles standing in, and that Walker’s face and voice will be recreated using CGI.
This could go terribly wrong. CGI gets better every year, but when we mess with human faces, the results are usually creepy, cheesy, or both. Then again, it has been done well: When Oliver Reed died while filming Gladiator in 1999, Ridley Scott’s production team used CGI and several odd techniques, including a mannequin, to finish shots with his character, and most people didn’t notice anything was off.