Shooting on the half-finished Fast and Furious 7 film was halted after star Paul Walker and a friend were killed in a car crash last November. Since then, fans have been keen to know what the studio would decide to do with the film, with some fears Walker's character would be written out of the script.
Universal Studios announced a couple of months ago that the film would continue, but did not reveal what it would mean for the role of Walker, who has played policeman Brian O'Conner in every one of the series except for Tokyo Drift.
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However there was always the view that the Fast and Furious formula -- which has taken close to $2.5 billion at the box office -- would be too lucrative to drop. And it appears that the film will be finished with computer-generated imagery and doubles filling in the scenes Walker had not yet done at the time of his death, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
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“They have hired four actors with bodies very similar to Paul’s physique and they will be used for movement and as a base,” an insider is cited as saying. “Paul’s face and voice will be used on top using CGI.”
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The studio is reportedly confident that fans will be happy with the result of the film, which will launch in early April, but it's a risky move. However the technology has advanced considerably since previous CGI attempts to fill in for actors who have died during production.
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The digital insertion of Oliver Reed for Gladiator in 1999 was widely panned by both critics and fans. There was also criticism for the CGI filling-in for Heath Ledger after he died in 2008 while still working on Imaginarium of The Doctor Parnassus -- which was also helped by Terry Gilliam rewriting the scipt to account for the character changing his appearance and being played in turn by Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law.