The death of Paul Walker has now led to a payment from the insurer that could be as high as $50 million.
As the latest Fast and Furious movie was already filming when its star, Paul Walker, died in a tragic accident at the end of last November, Universal Pictures was forced to make a decision regarding the way that the production of the movie would proceed, and it has now led to a record breaking insurance claim for $50 million.
The payment for this claim will add to the budget for the film production that is already $200 million.
The insurance company that received the claim is the Firemen’s Fund, which has been providing the film with its coverage. Considering the size of the movie franchise to which Fast and Furious is a part, the loss of its star actor was a devastating financial blow – among other things. As marketing costs to promote the film are expected to be about half of the movie’s initial budget, it is likely that the film – the seventh in the series under that title – will have cost a massive amount of money.
It has been predicted that the costs for Fast and Furious 7 could reach as high as $375 million, including insurance payout.
The movie is expected to reach the theaters on April 10, 2015 and by the time the insurance claim is covered, the film is produced, and the marketing expenses have all been brought together, the final total will likely be in the range of $350 million and $375 million. That said, considering that this franchise is the most lucrative for Universal – which explains its record breaking claim – it is not difficult to understand why the studio would choose to proceed as they have.
When the star of the film, 40 year old Paul Walker, was killed, it left executives from the studio in a situation in which they were forced to make a very difficult choice. They had only a partially filmed movie and there were scenes with Walker that still needed to be shot. They needed to decide whether to begin again with a new actor, to write out Walker’s character and restructure the film, or rewrite some of the critical scenes and use a body double with Walker’s face superimposed. All of those options would be highly costly ones.
It looks as though the last film in the Fast and Furious franchise will be opting for the latter option, and that the massive insurance claim will be used for 13 weeks of shooting that will come to a close in July.