Fast & Furious 7’s Insurance Claim Could be Largest in Hollywood History
When Paul Walker tragically passed away last November, in the middle of filming Fast & Furious 7, it was rumored that the actor’s untimely death could trigger the largest Hollywood insurance claim in movie history.
The cost of finishing the movie, which was originally budgeted at $200 million, will be challenging, even though insiders say the storyline has not changed significantly. It was decided by the studio that work would move ahead on the film with a combination of old footage, CGI, and Paul Walker’s own brothers being used to finish his role. As a result, the film’s insurance company, Fireman’s Fund, might face a record $50 million claim. Fireman’s Fund, declined comment, but in a discussion about the challenges of movie-business insurance, Fireman’s Fund entertainment underwriting director Wendy Diaz said that delays can cost as much as $250,000 a day on a big- budget movie, adding up to “millions of dollars.”
In the case of Fast & Furious 7, Paul Walker’s death caused a delay of four months and also demanded additional work from writers, before special effects and filming could resume. The movie was originally slated to wrap in January, but due to Walker’s death, that date has now changed to July. As a result, production is now required to pay cast members, which include Vin Diesel, more money to keep them on set longer. Throw all those figures together, along with increased editing time and Universal may face an additional $50 million to finish the movie.
But when it comes to insurance claims in Hollywood, that’s usually how the process works. The studio is always responsible to pay what the budget was originally slated to cost, and the insurance company is required to pay the extra funds it takes to finish the movie on account of injuries, deaths or anything else that may cost production extra money and delays.
Currently, the record for an insurance settlement on a major film franchise was $15 million, when Robert Downey Jr. broke his ankle during the filming of Iron Man 3.
Fast & Furious 7 is set for release on April 10, 2015. Since Universal decided to keep Paul Walker in the film, the studio has courted fans by characterizing the move as a tribute to the actor. A statement on the film’s Facebook page read: “We believe our fans want that, and we believe Paul would want that, too.
So, what do you think? Will you be racing to theaters to watch Fast & Furious 7? Let us know in the comments section below.