Fast and Furious 7 budget soaring past $250 million?
Universal had decided that FAST AND FURIOUS 7 would be finished with the aid of Paul Walker's brothers, as well as other body doubles and CGI, but it looks like the cost of the film is getting out of hand (in my opinion, anyway). The initial budget was set at $200 million, but now the costs of ensuring the character of Brian O'Conner is finished as intended is possibly pushing this up to $250 million, and beyond.
From our end, we can't really see what was or wasn't finished before Paul Walker's death so we can only speculate. Obviously some people sat down and looked at the script, decided on what re-writes to do (or scrap the character altogether) and in the end, chose to move forward with the aid of body doubles and CGI. I've never really seen CG facial construction work that well (TRON: LEGACY was an eye sore), but with WETA on the case, I have some hope. To an extent, I'm also happy that they're doing their best to use what they have left of Paul Walker's footage.
On the other hand, when I hear about budgets that can't stop growing (remember THE LONE RANGER), I can't help but think back to what George Lucas and Steven Spielberg said about the current state of the film industry, and it's possible future. They're smart businessman (that's really one-half of the filmmaking game) and every studio wants an Avatar or Avengers; they want that franchise that's a guaranteed box-office draw, and they're willing to spend some big bucks to do it.
I really enjoy the Fast and Furious franchise (especially the last two entries), as they know how to just have fun with the premise and deliver some popcorn entertainment. There's a place for that kind of film, but what does that mean for films with a lower budget, or a story to tell that studios don't deem a "money maker"? I'm really happy to hear that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are bringing back their Project Greenlight idea, because I loved their concept of finding someone with the will and providing them the way. Despite how you may feel about the final products, STOLEN SUMMER, BATTLE OF SHAKER HEIGHTS and FEAST may not have existed without Project Greenlight. And all they're asking for is $1 million to make a movie. Could you imagine 250 of those being made, instead of FAST AND FURIOUS 7? Who knows what kind of movies we would have gotten.
We'll know how the end product fares by this time next year, as FAST AND FURIOUS 7, starring the late Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, and Kurt Russell, is currently set to be released on April 10, 2015.
|Extra Tidbit:||I'd love to hear your opinion on Fast and Furious 7, as well as your feelings on ballooning budgets to "franchise films".|
|Source:||The Hollywood Reporter|