"No, nope, nah, no thanks, never, don't do this. WHY. Stop it. Just stop." That will be the resounding outcry of true fans on the April 10, 2015 release day of Fast & Furious 7, which is set to feature a patchwork of Paul Walker computer regenerations and slapdash body doubles. The decision is a dishonorable one, and should not be endorsed.
"They have hired four actors with bodies very similar to Paul's physique and they will be used for movement and as a base," one source close to production tells us. "Paul's face and voice will be used on top using CGI."
Paul Walker was human. Paul Walker had sparkle. Paul Walker laughed like a trickle of gold coins down the back of your neck while the smell of coconut spraytan hovers in the air. His teeth were like bone bricks, like a perfectly aligned game of Serenity Tetris* when you win, his smile like a blessing—Gloria in excelsis Deo—that made cars look like fun. Cars aren't fun! They are murder machines!
Is it possible to use four body doubles to recreate close-up eye shots like this one?
In case you missed it:
Would computers, who notoriously cannot be trusted, be able to contend with the Herculean leg strength Walker exhibited in not one but two fight scenes that required clutch-of-deaths around the mid-torso of his costars?
In a definitive ranking of the Fast and Furious franchise films, when penned by a F&F historian (which I am), the least liked film is also notably the only film in which Paul Walker doesn't appear.
- Fast Five
- The Fast and the Furious
- 2 Fast 2 Furious
- Fast & Furious 6
- Fast & Furious
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Though Fast & Furious was reprehensible for its overuse of dialogue and underuse of fast cars doing furious shit, nobody wanted to see this hack in place of Walker:
We only wanted the auric surfer boy with the frat-boy guttural guffaw.
No body double could possibly emulate the graciously dumbfounded face of Paul Walker as he loses to Dominic "Dom" Toretto time and time again. Toretto foreshadows in the first film that Brian "Breh" O'Conner never had his car. That face—so sweet, so dumb, so crowned by golden frosting, like a rubber cupcake dog toy left exposed on the highway—can it really be captured again?
The righteous, honorable alternative to keeping Paul Walker in the seventh installment of the wreckage-ridden victory rides through triumph, trial, and NOStradamus-style declarations, is to delete him entirely. Pretend he got lost out there, somewhere, and just never made it to Abu Dhabi, where the film is back in production.
*Serenity Tetris is not a real game (yet).