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Fate Of The Furious Director Considered CGI Paul Walker

The tragic death of Paul Walker in 2013 left a huge hole in the Fast and the Furious franchise, and it wasn't always clear how producers would address the absence of Brian O'Conner.

Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray recently told ScreenRant that there were talks about potentially using CGI to bring Walker's likeness back for the latest installment, but the team ultimately decided against it.

"We had hundreds of conversations about the best way, the classiest way to handle and address Paul's legacy in this franchise," Gray said. "You know, there's multiple ways you can go. You could create a digital Paul and make him more of a character. You could leave him out and pretend that he [isn't] in this world anymore. These are all conversations we had, and we felt like the choice we made respected his legacy the best."

In the movie, some of the characters allude to the fact that Walker's character and his wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) are expecting a second child and Brian has left the crew for the sake of his family. 

"My understanding is that [Walker's] family was really happy with how we treated him," Gray said.

Of course, one of the most notable examples of Hollywood using CGI to portray a deceased actor is Lucasfilm bringing back the late Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But that character appeared only briefly, and it's not clear how audiences would react to watching the likeness of a deceased actor onscreen for a longer period of time. We already know that Lucasfilm has decided against using the technique for Carrie Fisher in the upcoming Star Wars sequels.

Meanwhile, plans for the next installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise are underway. But unless writers pay more attention to female characters, it might not feature Michelle Rodriguez.