Digital Festus

A director friend who knows people says he’s “hearing on pretty good authority they’ll be using CGI to put Harrison Ford’s face on a body double, probably his usual stunt double, so he’ll be able to complete his Star Wars, Episode VII role no matter what the state of his recovery will be.” CG face-pasting was a big deal 14 years ago when Gladiator technicians brought Oliver Reed back to life for scenes he hadn’t shot at the time of his passing. The late Paul Walker was recently CG’ed for unfinished Fast and Furious 7 scenes, etc. The Ford work, if and when they actually decide to do it, will presumably be less difficult given the fact that he’s alive and relatively well.

Here are two stories — one from Techtimes, another from Latino Review — that indicate why CG face-pasting might be necessary. They’re both rumor-riffing that Ford’s busted leg has really screwed things up schedule-wise, and that JJ Abrams wants to bump the Star Wars, Episode VII release date to May 2016. But Disney’s Bob Iger has allegedly ixnayed that one in the bud. He wants it out in December 2015, come hell or high water.

  • Oh god.

    For anybody who remembers the awful head-pasting of the clones in REVENGE OF THE SITH, this news should give you pause.

    • Paul Marzagalli

      Meant to reference that and forgot. Great point (and a troubling one).

    • Pertwillaby

      That was 12 years ago. Technology has evolved, the head-pasting in The Social Network was completely seamless.

      • Except that Armie Hammer wasn’t in a bunch of sci-fi action scenes.

        • Pertwillaby

          What difference does that make?

          I already know the answer: none.

  • Zed75

    I’m sure they can do it better than it’s been done before, but no matter how seamless it is, you’re going to be WATCHING for it, because you know it’s there, and that’s gonna be extremely distracting.

    • Reverent and free

      Right, and they’re damned if they cut Han’s scenes down, because it will undercut the hype of the returning cast being major roles and not just glorified cameos.

  • Perfect Tommy

    Han Solo played by Harrison Ford played by Andy Serkis.

  • HamOrThyme

    Oh god, just write him out of the thing and give Oscar Isaac or Adam Driver more time. Ford is booooring.

    • fitz-hume

      Ford may be that but Han Solo is not.

      • HamOrThyme

        You think we’ll notice the difference in this?

        • Paul Marzagalli

          I’d rather find out than the alternative of a script rewrite b/c of an injury, especially when there are other reasonable options.

    • Christopher A. Otto

      Probably impossible to “write him out” if Solo is, as rumored, the center of the movie. They’re really screwed.

      • Paul Marzagalli

        They’re only screwed because Iger has this lunatic insistence on keeping the December release date, which never made any sense to begin with. Star Wars is culturally ingrained as a summer film.

  • pretto

    Do they have the technology to go back and fix Game of Death now?

    • brenkilco

      Thom Phoolery say:

      I always thought Kareem looked pretty real.

      • dvdoff

        And let’s not forget the ghoulishly bad job they did on Nancy Marchand on “The Sopranos”.

  • Paul Marzagalli

    The silver lining of this would have been a May release date, in keeping with the other films. Plus, it would have given the crew more time to figure out what was working and what wasn’t. Keeping this date….along with this CGI face garbage sounds like Iger is in a Lucas-like “they don’t have to make it that good” mode.

  • Christopher A. Otto

    That Latino Review article, even if only 80% of it is true, is REALLY damning. They have really botched this Star Wars handoff and the Ford injury, if the film was centered around him, has them between a rock and a hard place at this point. I can’t believe a rewrite would be anything but a total disaster. And the shareholders just won’t allow pushing this thing back six months of more. … Maybe we’ll get a GREAT book someday on all of this.

  • TheHey

    Given that May is usually the traditional time for Star Wars, the LOTR/Hobbit films and Avatar show that a mid-December date is a very valuable spot where a film can potentially earn $1B worldwide before New Years Day – something you can’t count on even in the summer.

    Iger would as soon delay it to December 2016 than move it to May. But stockholders wouldn’t stand for that.

  • Baron Munchausen-by-Proxy

    Just as I predicted for y’all on 6/12 in the comments to “Han Solo needs an Ankle Brace”, and for those very same reasons.

  • Express Filmmaker

    Didn’t Disney learnt anything about their Tron Legacy paste face fiasco?

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