The upcoming release of #Furious7 (I assume the # will be part of the story in this installment), marks a landmark in movie insurance claims after the film’s producers received a record payout following the untimely death of Paul Walker. For a better understanding of the situation, and acknowledging the film’s automobile obsession, let’s look at the claim as if it was car insurance.
When Paul Walker tragically died in a car accident, he hadn’t finished filming #Furious7 and thus rendered the production (according to the producers) a “total loss” (to use insurance terminology). The producers received a reported $50 million dollars by claiming the film could not be completed without him. Once the payment had been made, the producers decided not to cover their costs and write a new film, but to complete the film with Paul Walker at top of the credits.
By doing so they’re (sticking with the car insurance comparison) essentially labeling the movie as a salvaged title and Paul Walker (in terms of the film) as damaged goods. They would have had to announce that the film could not be completed without him to receive the “salvage payment” (they did) and if they then decided to “fix” their ruined film, the now “salvaged” film would have to be listed as such before it is traded, sold or exchanged; just like a car. In this case the producers released detailed explanations of how they were going to continue shooting scenes using Paul Walker’s brothers and CG effects – thus allowing them to still use Paul Walker’s name (er, now also salvaged?) on the bill (which was the original loss they had received payment for). Phew!
And if the unholy irony of Paul Walker’s tragic death and the glorifying theme of the entire Fast & Furious saga still sits a little uncomfortably with you; then consider the irony that if the huge claim for #Furious 7 was compared to a simple car insurance – Paul Walker’s brothers would not have been covered by the film’s original insurance while they completed his scenes. Due to the “salvaged” elements, of which they’re a part of “repairing”, they would only have been covered for their liability to harm others on the set.
So why did I compare this movie to a car? Oh, I don’t know. You made it this far didn’t you?
Enjoy the (salvaged) film, in theaters this Friday. I hear it’s pretty good.