Weta to finish dead star's film - report

Last updated 05:00 26/05/2014
Paul Walker
DEAD AT 40: Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker

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Wellington's Weta Digital is reportedly bringing a dead celebrity to virtual life.

The Miramar company, part of Sir Peter Jackson's movie empire, has been signed up to help finish Fast & Furious 7, which was cut short when star Paul Walker was killed in a car crash last November, Hollywood Reporter has quoted "a person with ties to the project" as saying.

Weta Digital did not respond to calls about the report yesterday.

The source told Hollywood Reporter: "They are finishing the film more or less as scripted, replacing Paul with [computer-generated] face replacement.

"They have two of Paul's brothers as well as an actor to ‘play' Paul when needed."

The source said Walker's brother Caleb, 36, would be used for the dead star's body size and mannerisms, while Cody, 25, would be used for his eyes.

But studios also needed someone to act and move like Paul Walker, which is where Weta Digital came in, reportedly capturing stand-ins before face replacement could be added later by computer.

"There is a massive amount of gear . . . Everything they want with Paul gets done three times over," the report said.

"Three [actors] times seven cameras per shot is a [lot] of money being spent."

Director James Wan would also pull out unused footage featuring the real Paul Walker from the previous two Fast & Furious films to be used in the seventh movie.

The cost of Fast & Furious 7 was originally budgeted at US$200 million (NZ$234m) but the extra work would add US$50m to the cost.

Walker and a friend died in a fiery car crash in November last year.

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- The Dominion Post

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