Paul Walker’s Brother Does Double Duty in New ‘Fast and Furious’
Good news, moviegoers with consciences: Paul Walker won’t be cinematically resurrected via digital movie magic. Rumors have been bubbling like a noisy brook that Walker, who died last November in a car crash, would appear in subsequent Fast and Furious movies with the aid of computer imagery — sort of like Laurence Olivier in the underrated gem Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, except with less reverent mysterious and money grubbing complacency.
According to The Telegraph (UK), Paul Walker’s brothers, Cody and Caleb, acted as body stand-ins for Walker, while Peter Jackson’s New Zealand-based effects company Weta spent around $50 million to use CGI wizardry to blend Walker’s face with his brothers’ bodies. Ridley Scott had to use post-production effects to finish his Award winning Gladiator in 2000, when Oliver Reed died before filming finished. Scott used extra footage he had cut and put Reed in the foreground of a scene filmed after his death, while a double was used to shoot the character from far away.
But that’s not all. Today, news has broken that Paul Walker’s brother Cody will play the brother of Walker’s character, who is being “retired,” in the next Fast and Furious movie, because why stop making movies if they’re raking in the money? That means Cody Walker will play his late brother, and then an entirely different character.
The Daily Mail‘s unnamed source had this to say: “Of course, Cody isn’t a replacement for Paul in any way, but the producers were really grateful that he stepped in to help them finish this last film and Cody is so likeable [sic] and charming… It would be a tribute to Paul that Cody carries on the Walker name in the Fast and Furious movies.”
Roger Ebert, apparently feeling sassy, wrote about Fast and Furious in 2009:
Fast and Furious is exactly and precisely what you’d expect. Nothing more, unfortunately. You get your cars that are fast and your characters that are furious. You should. They know how to make these movies by now. Producer Neil Moritz is on his fourth, and director Justin Lin on his second. Vin Diesel and other major actors are back from The Fast and the Furious (2001). All they left behind were two definite articles.
Ebert obviously doesn’t speak for the myriad fans of the immensely popular series, but it’s funny nonetheless.