Fast and Furious 7: Movie magic replaces Paul Walker

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Paul Walker image
No amount of movie magic will ever truly replace the charming and incredibly down to earth Paul Walker, but at least now the movie can be completed.

Following the tragic car accident that claimed Paul Walker’s life on November 30, fans of the Fast and Furious series wondered who would play the cop-turned-outlaw character, Brian O’Conner. Although Fast and Furious 7 was already in the midst of filming, the beloved actor’s passing led to the film being suspended while fellow actors and actresses like Michelle Rodriguez, Vin Diesel, and Tyrese Gibson mourned his death. Despite concerns about the film ever being finished, a new report from the New York Daily News revealed that the filmmakers will be using computer-generated imagery (CGI) and body doubles for Paul Walker to finish the movie.

Thanks to movie magic, which can blend special effects, voice-altering technology, and human lookalikes into a believable replacement for Paul Walker, the Fast and Furious series looks like it will continue. For decades, moviemakers have been finding ways to get around the sometimes unavoidable fact that their stars may die before a film is completed, by either editing scenes, taking camera shots of similarly-sized humans that don’t show their face clearly, or actually creating CGI versions of them.

One of the most famous examples of using movie magic to make someone come back to life in a flick is from the movie Gladiator, which is considered one of the first modern films to use realistic CGI. Not only did the flick recreate The Colosseum of Rome in a way that still holds up to today’s advanced tech, but it even remade the face of film legend Oliver Reed, whose Antonius Proximo character trains Russel Crowe’s Maximus Decimus Meridius to fight. Following Reed’s death before the movie was finished, his face was mapped onto another person’s in the editing room to create a believable digital mask.

So, rev those engines, ladies and gentlemen, because Diesel recently posted a picture of Walker on his Facebook with the following message: “Fast and Furious 7 will be released… April 10th 2015! P.S. He’d want you to know first.”

Images courtesy of Paul Walker Facebook.