‘Fast & Furious 7′ to Replace Paul Walker with CGI & Body Doubles

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 23rd, 2014 at 3:06 pm,

Fast and Furious 7 Paul Walker Brian OConnor Ending Final Scene 570x294 Fast & Furious 7 to Replace Paul Walker with CGI & Body Doubles
In November 2013, actor Paul Walker unexpectedly died in a fiery car crash in Santa Clarita, California while on break from filming Fast & Furious 7. His tragic and untimely death left the fate of the latest film in the franchise in limbo as Universal Pictures decided how to move forward with prouduction.

Only half of the film had been completed, so any plan the studio made had to take this into account as well as respect the circumstances surrounding the actor’s death. First, there were rumors that the whole film would have to be rewritten, then there was an idea floating around that Walker’s younger brother would be used as a body double along with CGI.

Apparently, the truth now lies somewhere in the middle. According to NY Daily News, “They have hired four actors with bodies very similar to Paul’s physique, and they will be used for movement and as a base. Paul’s face and voice will be used on top using CGI.

Shooting on Fast & Furious 7 has been delayed since last fall until this April, undoubtedly to allow the cast to grieve but also to allow time for rewrites and reworking. Because if Universal Pictures wants to try and mask Walker’s absence from the film, then they’ll also need to spend as little time as possible focusing on his character, Brian O’Conner, even if they do intend to give him a proper sendoff in the end.

Fast and Furious 6 Group Photo Fast & Furious 7 to Replace Paul Walker with CGI & Body Doubles

Body doubles and CGI are techniques that have been used before on films and television to varying success. After Brandon Lee died on the set of The Crow in an accidental shooting, the film was only completed by using a stunt double and CGI. And on The Sopranos, Tony’s mother was able to have one last scene with her son thanks to CGI after actress Nancy Marchand suddenly passed away.

While it’s true that CGI can be worth it when used sparingly, it’s often distracting in greater amounts. It’s still unclear how much Walker had left to film at the time of his death and whether his role has been reduced in subsequent rewrites, but it would seem his part is still substantial enough if it warrants four body doubles.

What do you think about body doubles and CGI being used to recreate Brian O’Conner? Let us know in the comments.


Fast & Furious 7 is currently scheduled to release in theaters on April 10th, 2015.

Source: NY Daily News

Follow Araceli Roach on Twitter @ara_celi
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  1. Oh Yeah !!! I Like Fast & Furious 7.

  2. If his daughter, wife and Mom are cool with it then sounds good. His daughter approving is the most important imo. But, I hope she does not feel pressured for a decision. Just that if she objects the studio should listen.

    • It depends how old she is. Personally I think it doesn’t matter whether his family agrees or not, the movie must be finished, the film makers have a job to do just like Paul did and are accountable to more people than just Paul Walkers family. His last performance doesn’t belong to just his family, I’m sure even they understand that.

      I don’t know about CGI; couldn’t they have done what they did with Heath Ledger and got other actors to finish the movie in his place.

      • She is a teenager and she is his only child. If she does not want to see her Dad rendered in CGI after his tragic death is a car, then it is her call, She isn’t four. She has some understanding of the stakes. But, she is his daughter and she should have a say. Just my opinion.

        • Couldn’t agree more Bats.

        • What? So if her father would still be alive and she didn’t want him to star in this crappy movie, it’d be her call too? The rights to the character belong to the film makers, not Walker’s family. They have NO choice in the matter.

      • You must be a lawyer for the studio eh? You heartless sack of $hit.

        • Wow, that’s a slightly OTT response.

        • Sorry for any offense, it’s just an opinion. I’m also not sure about the CGI, like I said in my previous comment, there are better ways. But whatever decision the filmmakers make is totally alright. They, at least, aren’t “heartless sacks of $hit”.

      • It’s not that kind of movie, unfortunately. Otherwise it would have been the preferable idea.

      • Heath died after Dark Knight had completed production

        • I believe he’s referring to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus where Jude Law, Colin Farrell, and Johnny Depp finished Ledger’s remaining scenes for him.

          • Good movie, by the way. A bit over the top but they pulled it off.

          • Did you even watch that movie? That won’t work here.

    • like they have a say… its a contract and the studio can do with the asset what they want. just the way it is. but its vin so if he thinks they are doing anything bad he will stop it because he has a high position in the franchise.
      its probably why he is getting a send off instead of being killed which would being a lot of emotion into the franchise. mind you, its not like he has been a main character since 2. he has been a higher secondary character.

      but they cant just send him off in the beginning because he needs to get revenge for han too. they are all family so it would be really stupid to find out that shaw killed him then go off and live a happy life without resolving it.

      • Yeah, see how that attitude flies with the general public if she goes on a talk show to discuss it. She could sink the film if she isn’t onboard. His Mom and his wife are also at play, but his daughter would be the one to worry about. If I were the studio I’d reach out and gauge her feelings.

      • I respectfully disagree with you. I believe the Story of FF has always been about the life of Brian O’Conner, from his time of a cop, to his fall, and his adoption (if you will) to the Toretto’s. But what I do I know perhaps thats just my sympathy talking. But I do think Paul was the star and Vin his co-star for the movie.

  3. I would say as-long-as they use it to give him an exit from the franchise, so he can live out his life in the story, then yes!

  4. I think they used this for Underworld Awakenings because they couldn’t get the actor for that movie. It looked horrible.

  5. I think they should work his death into the beginning of the movie somehow…. We all know Jason stathem is coming after them after the death of his brother Shaw…. They could make it as a surprise from the start as they kill Brian still. Make it a main plot point as 2 members are dead now. Paul Walker was the lead with Vin Diesel so it hits a heart string automatic… Vin becomes angy as a hot head Toretto, and The Rock is involved as a fellow man of the law/ part or the family to get Jason Statham back…. Good enough movie for me with the action stars…

    • i am also one of the people that wouldnt mind shaw killing him but i know so many people would be against it because they think it would be disrespectful to which i say thats BS… its just a story and i think people take movies too seriously.

      but if they go the way of making him leave the heists and stuff and live out a live with his family its not so bad and its a nice send off. but still, having shaw kill him would bring so much depth and seriousness to the story that it would be an amazing revenge story.

      • This.
        I know a lot of people want Brian to have a happy ending unlike Paul Walker did, but having Shaw kill him not only adds weight to the story but also as the bad guy. Having the end of this movie be Dom sending everyone else away to set up a Dom-Hobbs revenge movie would be awesome.

  6. I would just write him out with a throwaway line about Brian and Mia in witness protection or something. Give him the Megan Fox Transformers treatment.

    • Or recast his role. There’s many actors who can play the part. Having Paul Walker in the movie a little bit, and freaking cgi’d in the rest? It’s a bit off putting and in bad taste when they can just remove him completely. And like Bat-Mite said. If his daughter ain’t down, don’t do it.

  7. Daughters wishes aren’t as important as a contract. Its the truth so don’t feel angry guys. I would like to see Paul Walker character in any which way in this movie and see him exit the storyline whichever way they show it, so we can say a proper goodbye to him onscreen in his most iconic franchise. How many actors get that? RIP walker. Your legacy shall live on, if you are given a proper CGI send off in this one mate.

    • This isn’t about me. I am stating reality. If FF7 gets made and Paul Walker’s daughter goes on Ellen to explain how it bothers her and how her family wishes were not taken into consideration. If she says something like “they are using my Dad’s death to sell tickets”, then expect a whole bunch of bad press.

      Contracts are contracts, but doing something stupid which turns a portion of the fan base against you will end the franchise. Short-sighted.

      • On a personal level I have no opinion one way or the other. The Crow worked and I don’t remember Brandon’s Mom or Sister being against it.

        My point is that person whose opinion matters is Paul Walker’s only daughter.

        • What are you, Paul Walkers daughter or something?! You’ve replied to everyones comment that doesn’t care what her feels are. Give it a rest.

          • Ha! He’s the only one who’s comments make sense though. Most of us are looking at this situation as Fast&Furious, not even Paul Walker fans at that. Most of the comments have been about how ‘they’ would like the movie to be. I seriously doubt Walker’s friends and family could give a $#!! about “Brian O’Conner& Dom Toretto”
            Sadly, I seriously doubt the studio will give a $#!! about his daughters feeling tbh.

    • “Daughters wishes aren’t as important as a contract.”

      Ask Terrence Howard how important studios think a contract is.

      • That example is pointless. TH is alive.

        • That TH is not in IM2 or IM3 despite a contract would suggest otherwise. The subject of response was on the relevance of a contract, not whether or not someone is breathing.

  8. I wouldve killed his character.

  9. HELL NO not appropriate at all in my opinion. What i heard about sending his character off into the sunset would be more appropriate. Ie:dom would send Brian, Mia & jack out of harms way as the heat was on and it was getting dangerous for all 3 of them. Please please please no cgi :’( But if this is the way the family would approve of then I’m sure us fans will too.

  10. For his voice they could use Jesse Lee Soffer. If you look him up on youtube and listen , without looking at the screen, to some of his Chicago PD interviews he has a similar tone to that of Paul.

    The first time I heard him talk I wasn’t looking and I could have sworn I was hearing Paul Walker. It’s not 100% spot on but it’s a close second.

  11. I love the movies and they are some of my favorites but some of you should not take it personal. None of the actors would do FF7 if it was done in poor taste. They worked with him for years and when you work with someone like that you become close, there is a bond, a love. Without a doubt some of those cast members had a brotherhood. Stop over thinking it and worrying about the studio doing something evil. I am sure his family was approached and respect will be paid. I just watched FF6 last night on Blue-Ray and the opening memorial for Paul was very moving.

    On a side note. I am not sure if it can work for FF7 cause it was too far into production but I think LCSterlin52′s story idea would be great for part FF8.

  12. I’ve been blown away the last couple years at the amount of doubling in shows and movies lately. With shows like Orphan Black in which 1 actress is playing up to 7 people in the same show (clones, if you haven’t watched it, get on that!), and never does it look weird. The Following this year has done it to, I think it was 2 podcasts ago when the guys talked about it but the “twins” in that show are only played by 1 actor, and a body double/stand in. I was blown away because I never once thought about it… I figured it must actually be Twins but it wasn’t.

    Now before anyone says anything, I know it will be more difficult with FF7 because Paul Walker isn’t around to do whatever close up shots they need, but I’m sure they have enough back-footage from 5 movies he’s been in with them, and computer cg work is always-improving! I have confidence they will be able to pull this off.

  13. I think they should honestly kill him off in the movie, just out of respect. If i was an actor that died, i wouldnt want a computer and some random stunt double to take my place.

  14. I listen to some of these comments and know neither his daughter or family would want him killed off. CGI Paul a good ending and have Jesse lee Sofer fill in for him in part 8 so Jordana can come back.

  15. I really hope all his family has a say but pauls parents agreed along time ago that they want there song to stay in the mpvie just dont know if this is what they wont! But I agree his daugther should have a say in this to shes old enough to understand her own pain and im pretty sure she sees his fans as well I just hope she makes a decision for her self and not the choice people want her to make if she even had/has a say! And I ove there idea I just hope its just forthis movie carring it on for however many more there doing might be a bit much either ay im a fan I know with out paul walker it could never be the same but ill always watch the movies!!

  16. I’m very glad they are taking this route. I have seen movies and shows with this technology used and some of them were done well. It really sucks that Paul died because, based on what I heard and read from others, he was just a really nice guy, plus I absolutely love the FF franchise. Obviously we will see his character’s death in the next movie, but it’s just a question of how it happens obviously. I hope they continue to make more movies after 7.

  17. They shouldn’t kill off his character. I was heart broken enough to find out he actually died. If he dies in the movie, ima lose it.

  18. The film has to be completed the way it is intended to be. They have done this before in the past and I feel in respect this is the right choice. Killing him off or writing him off to the story would just seem tasteless towards Paul Walker’s own contribution and hard dedication to the franchise, he would have wanted this film to be completed.

    • I’m sorry and when did Paul Walker personally tell this to you exactly? ??

  19. Paul Walker was an actor. No one owns him. His contract is void upon death barring a “dead pheasant” clause. His estate or family have control over any lasting likeness to be used for commercial purposes. Yes, the studio can still use the character, they own the rights to the CHARACTER. It’s like Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, or Elvis Presley. There is a reason you don’t see their likeness still used in movies after their passing.

    • The thing is that this is about a movie that was partly completed and not them taking his image from something else and superimposing it into this one. In this case I believe that any footage they’ve already filmed that can be used with CGI is the intellectual property of the studio and not of Paul Walker or his family.

      • All depends on the contract Walker would have signed for the filming of this movie….

  20. Walker lived by the car, he died by the car. Be careful.

  21. hey,why don’t we just replace all the actors with CGI…lol.

  22. If the family are cool with it then that’s the only opinion that matters.

    Be nice for Paul’s Brian O’Conner character to have a proper and respectful departure from the series.

    The character has a little boy now, once they’ve dealt with the revenging Shaw it’s time to hang up the drift and spend time with the family.

    Be weird seeing him on screen, didn’t know about Brandon the first time I saw The Crow, not seen Dr Parnassus and Heath was SO buried underneath the Joker it didn’t really register.

    Watched Fast 6 a couple of days after his passing and the quiet scene at the beginning between Paul and Vin, that felt very, very strange.

  23. Honestly I don’t believe they even need his daughters approval for this. But I’m sure they talked to everyone involved and said that this is the best way to finish the film and give the character a proper send off.

  24. The guys dead FFS, hollywood…. Have some more respect, just when you think they cannot sink any lower to make money….. Unbelievable.

  25. Well, im not a fan of CGI – its still needs to be perfected – but if it has to be done, then i’m cool with that especially when its needed to complete a film. I’m sure they are doing Paul’s character justice, and his storyline will be written out with respect. I’ve been a fan since the beginning, but now I have to admit i would like to see how they work this out…

  26. Wth? A double? REALLY? The man is dead FFS! If they continue to put Paul Walker’s character in FAST7 then that would mean his death meant nothing. HAVE SOME RESPECT! Like I understand that it would be a huge tribute for Paul Walker if they finish FAST7. But to continue his character as if Paul never died .. Shame on you Hollywood. Using a man’s death just to make money. Also shame on the writers for not trying hard enough to write a new script.

    Like in Tokyo Drift, Han was killed in a car accident but then in FAST6 we realize it wasn’t an accident and that Jason Statham killed Han and he’s out for revenge. Why not have Jason’s character do something to Brian O’Conner? There are so many great ideas they can do with Jason Statham and Paul Walker’s characters. But they decide to use a double and CGI …

  27. They should use the body doubles and CGI just to give his character a send off from the main story. Any more then that would look fake. The CGI character of Jeff Bridges in Tron looked totally fake so they certainly shouldnt go down that route.