For years, folks have said that computers were going to replace us. And they may be right. Especially at the cinema. With the technological advances in CG face-mapping, complex voice-replicating software, and motion capture…we may soon find ourselves in a cinematic landscape where actors can be replicated by digital counterparts. Such is the case with Paul Walker and Fast & Furious 7. According to a source for THR, the sixth sequel to The Fast and The Furious may have found its answer to “How do you solve a problem like Paul Walker dying mid-production?”
“They have hired four actors with bodies very similar to Paulâ€™s physique and they will be used for movement and as a base. Paulâ€™s face and voice will be used on top using CGI,” says the unnamed source who works within the Fast & Furious 7 production. You may recall that the actor died suddenly on November 30, 2013. And if you’re a particular brand of internet troll that was so unloved by their parents that you need to post things like “Who cares? Some dumb millionaire died while showing off, racing in a fancy sports car on a public street?” then you may make light of his untimely death. But, then again, you’d be completely overlooking the fact that Walker was an innocent bystander as the passenger in that ill-fated trip.
Fast & Furious 7 won’t be the first, or the last, use of such technological prowess to create a performance onscreen. Another famous example came way back in 1994 when Brandon Lee died mid-production on The Crow. Yet it’s not always for something as dramatic as thedeath of an actor. In Iron Man 3, director Shane Black used stand-ins and digital magic to make up for an injured Robert Downey Jr. And I’m still not convinced that January Jones has ever been a flesh-and-blood actress. I want to meet the computer whiz that created her.
The report also maintains that the Fast & Furious 7 will not be killing off Walker’s Brian O’Connor, but rather that they intend to retire his character in a tasteful way. They’ll let him drive off into the sunset, which should make fans of the franchise happy.
Production is set to restart in Abu Dhabi next month, and Fast & Furious 7 remains locked in for its April 10, 2015 release date. That’ll be my dad’s 54th birthday. Maybe I’ll take him to see this? Eh, he didn’t even like The Grand Budapest Hotel last night. Guy’s a tough critic.
That’s enough out of me. Be well, Cool Kids!
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter