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Fast and Furious 7 budget soaring past $250 million?

05.22.2014by:

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".

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8:05PM on 05/22/2014

Oh please

This is the LAST movie you need to worry about a ballooning budget. The fan frenzy over this will be massive. It will make BANK.
This is the LAST movie you need to worry about a ballooning budget. The fan frenzy over this will be massive. It will make BANK.
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4:16PM on 05/22/2014
Unlike John Carter and 47 Ronin this is guaranteed to make its money back.That`s a safe bet.I was half expecting this article from it`s headline to be about James Wan causing the budget to skyrocket with his inexperience at shooting a big budget action movie.Whew ,thank god it wasn`t,james wan is awesome.
Unlike John Carter and 47 Ronin this is guaranteed to make its money back.That`s a safe bet.I was half expecting this article from it`s headline to be about James Wan causing the budget to skyrocket with his inexperience at shooting a big budget action movie.Whew ,thank god it wasn`t,james wan is awesome.
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+1
4:11PM on 05/22/2014
Wow. 250 million. I need to see what other blockbusters are costing. For some reason I thought 100-150 mill was about tops. Obviously I don't know exactly what they ended up doing with Walker's character, it sounds like they wanted to use his existing footage, but I feel like they made a bad decision story telling wise. From what I understand and have seen before, they understandably chose to honor the actor and his (last?) performance, but I feel like that's going to hurt this film's
Wow. 250 million. I need to see what other blockbusters are costing. For some reason I thought 100-150 mill was about tops. Obviously I don't know exactly what they ended up doing with Walker's character, it sounds like they wanted to use his existing footage, but I feel like they made a bad decision story telling wise. From what I understand and have seen before, they understandably chose to honor the actor and his (last?) performance, but I feel like that's going to hurt this film's story, be a distraction (is that a double? The cgi face looks weird!), and ruin their chances to continue the franchise - which is kind of insane considering they are allegedly investing $250 mill in this (and a rookie director as far as super big budget action films go). Still hoping for the best though.
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2:16PM on 05/22/2014
I thought the facial reconstruction in Tron: Legacy was incredibly distracting, but that was four years ago and technology has grown a bit, so I'm hoping for the best.
I thought the facial reconstruction in Tron: Legacy was incredibly distracting, but that was four years ago and technology has grown a bit, so I'm hoping for the best.
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4:16PM on 05/22/2014
It was distracting to me in the REAL world but not in the computer environment. I was able to suspend my disbelief there because it was in a digital world.
It was distracting to me in the REAL world but not in the computer environment. I was able to suspend my disbelief there because it was in a digital world.
1:22PM on 05/22/2014
I hope Kurt Russell drives the Pork-Chop Express in this.
I hope Kurt Russell drives the Pork-Chop Express in this.
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4:02PM on 05/22/2014
LMAO.
"Everybody relax, I'm here."
LMAO.
"Everybody relax, I'm here."
4:08PM on 05/22/2014
Yes!
Yes!
1:21PM on 05/22/2014
I don't think that the budget will be too much of an issue. We all know that it's going to make huge bank anyways. I'm more concerned about the look of the CG face replacement. I haven't seen a great example yet. I think the Star Wars prequels got away with some quick shots, but if you watch closely it's obvious. But the general audience won't care.
I don't think that the budget will be too much of an issue. We all know that it's going to make huge bank anyways. I'm more concerned about the look of the CG face replacement. I haven't seen a great example yet. I think the Star Wars prequels got away with some quick shots, but if you watch closely it's obvious. But the general audience won't care.
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1:19PM on 05/22/2014

What a dumb

Opinion at the end of this article. (Everyone is entitled to one but) comparing this soaring budget to Pirates and Lone Ranger is stupid. Those movies were filming with incomplete or no scripts at all and didnt know what theyd be working with. This soaring budget has to do with. 4-5 month delays. Rewrites. CGI work with Weta. New actors. Etc. It has NOTHING to do with the situations that POTC went through.
Opinion at the end of this article. (Everyone is entitled to one but) comparing this soaring budget to Pirates and Lone Ranger is stupid. Those movies were filming with incomplete or no scripts at all and didnt know what theyd be working with. This soaring budget has to do with. 4-5 month delays. Rewrites. CGI work with Weta. New actors. Etc. It has NOTHING to do with the situations that POTC went through.
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4:16PM on 05/22/2014
I see the difference. It's assumed that after the delay, they knew the direction they'd go in for FF7, but have they not spent money (and waisted) money on not knowing what they want and/or waisted footage? Granted, some of that isn't their fault - maybe most or all of it. But they do have a rookie director as far as big budget films go, and I'd say it's never a promising thing for any project to go 50 mill over budget (is it all really being used to "keep Paul acting?"), but it's certainly
I see the difference. It's assumed that after the delay, they knew the direction they'd go in for FF7, but have they not spent money (and waisted) money on not knowing what they want and/or waisted footage? Granted, some of that isn't their fault - maybe most or all of it. But they do have a rookie director as far as big budget films go, and I'd say it's never a promising thing for any project to go 50 mill over budget (is it all really being used to "keep Paul acting?"), but it's certainly not doomed
-2
1:06PM on 05/22/2014
Why anyone who doesn't have a financial stake in any film would care what the budget is, and attempt to voice concern over it, is ridiculous. the average movie goer doesn't go to a movie because of its budget, but the press use it as a device so they have one more reason to talk about, either to criticize or applaud, a movie, to keep themselves relevant.

it's certainly a curiosity factor for some segment of the audience, but cause for concern? please. what do you care if a studio loses
Why anyone who doesn't have a financial stake in any film would care what the budget is, and attempt to voice concern over it, is ridiculous. the average movie goer doesn't go to a movie because of its budget, but the press use it as a device so they have one more reason to talk about, either to criticize or applaud, a movie, to keep themselves relevant.

it's certainly a curiosity factor for some segment of the audience, but cause for concern? please. what do you care if a studio loses money?
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2:47PM on 05/22/2014
I care
I care
12:43PM on 05/22/2014
I'm sure Fast & Furious 7 can break even and make profit as usual. Still, $250 million budget is a tall order and might even be more than $250 million. Who knows? Extra tidbit: I wonder if they would still make Fast & Furious movie after this one. I grew up with Fast & Furious. Without Paul Walker, it's as if something missing. Maybe there would be Fast 8 but with entirely new casts.
I'm sure Fast & Furious 7 can break even and make profit as usual. Still, $250 million budget is a tall order and might even be more than $250 million. Who knows? Extra tidbit: I wonder if they would still make Fast & Furious movie after this one. I grew up with Fast & Furious. Without Paul Walker, it's as if something missing. Maybe there would be Fast 8 but with entirely new casts.
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1:00PM on 05/22/2014
I think they'll continue making the series. They make a boat load of money. As for the actors, I only know of Lucas Black being contracted for 3 movies.
I think they'll continue making the series. They make a boat load of money. As for the actors, I only know of Lucas Black being contracted for 3 movies.
12:39PM on 05/22/2014
I have faith in WETA their resume includes projects such as The Hobbit, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Wolverine ans Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
I have faith in WETA their resume includes projects such as The Hobbit, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Wolverine ans Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
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12:35PM on 05/22/2014
They'll without a doubt make the money back for this flm considering how popular it is and has gotten over the last few years.
They'll without a doubt make the money back for this flm considering how popular it is and has gotten over the last few years.
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12:42PM on 05/22/2014
*I mean how popular the franchise is and has gotten over the past couple of years.
*I mean how popular the franchise is and has gotten over the past couple of years.
12:30PM on 05/22/2014

You're forgetting...

In all fairness, the CGI reconstruction was out to great use in Terminator: Salvation to recreate 1984 Arnold, I thought it looked fantastic. I haven't seen Tron: Legacy for comparison though.
In all fairness, the CGI reconstruction was out to great use in Terminator: Salvation to recreate 1984 Arnold, I thought it looked fantastic. I haven't seen Tron: Legacy for comparison though.
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12:30PM on 05/22/2014
*put to great use
*put to great use
12:25PM on 05/22/2014

Insurance

A good chunk of this will be underwritten by the insurance company. I hear at least 50 million in payouts.
A good chunk of this will be underwritten by the insurance company. I hear at least 50 million in payouts.
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2:22PM on 05/22/2014
Yep. I was just gonna say that. They'll be just fine when it comes to their bottom line. The last thing the studio wants now is for people to think they've cut costs following a death like this.
Yep. I was just gonna say that. They'll be just fine when it comes to their bottom line. The last thing the studio wants now is for people to think they've cut costs following a death like this.
12:18PM on 05/22/2014
While that skyrocketing budget is cause for concern, I'm glad that it does sound like care has been taken in the handling of the Brian O'Conner character and it seems that James Wan and the cast and crew do want to do right by Paul Walker and I hope the end result proves worth the time, money and effort. This franchise really won me over with Fast Five. It was really entertaining and the action sequences were orchestrated well. Was watching the behind the scenes bonus features of Furious 6 and
While that skyrocketing budget is cause for concern, I'm glad that it does sound like care has been taken in the handling of the Brian O'Conner character and it seems that James Wan and the cast and crew do want to do right by Paul Walker and I hope the end result proves worth the time, money and effort. This franchise really won me over with Fast Five. It was really entertaining and the action sequences were orchestrated well. Was watching the behind the scenes bonus features of Furious 6 and was pleasantly surprised at how much was done for real, in-camera - to the extent of a fully functional flip car!!
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12:09PM on 05/22/2014
I mean, this must have been somewhat expected. I'm sure they tried diminishing his role as well so maybe some scenes had to be re-written and possibly re-shot. I'm surprised that Universal didn't have an insurance policy on him.
I mean, this must have been somewhat expected. I'm sure they tried diminishing his role as well so maybe some scenes had to be re-written and possibly re-shot. I'm surprised that Universal didn't have an insurance policy on him.
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12:45PM on 05/22/2014
I think they have but that might only cover accidents On Set. Walker's untimely demise was off the set. I'm not an insurance expert but Universal's insurance policy on him, should he had one, might not cover that.
I think they have but that might only cover accidents On Set. Walker's untimely demise was off the set. I'm not an insurance expert but Universal's insurance policy on him, should he had one, might not cover that.
2:42PM on 05/22/2014
Yea, there's worker's comp for on set accidents, but it isn't uncommon for corporations to have their own life insurance policies on high profile employees for just this kind of occasion.
Yea, there's worker's comp for on set accidents, but it isn't uncommon for corporations to have their own life insurance policies on high profile employees for just this kind of occasion.
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