No one can be fully prepared when tragedy strikes, but in Hollywood, it pays to have a contingency plan. Actors are people too, but when they pass away the entirety of a big-budget production hangs in the balance. Whether it's a fatal mid-shoot accident or the need for a face from the past, tinseltown has employed a variety of methods to stave off or turn around that one most human of constants: death. Let's take a look back at some of the eerier examples of cinematic resurrection.
5. Phillip Seymour Hoffman in 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2'
After Hoffman's tragic heroin overdose in early 2014, Hunger Games producers were left in the lurch — they had shot most of the actor's scenes, but still had a few pivotal moments left to lens. As such, the filmmakers were forced to do away with one climactic scene wherein Hoffman's character, Plutarch Heavensbee, was meant to have a face-to-face meeting with Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen. Instead, they opted to transpose Hoffman's lines into a letter read in voice over by Woody Harrelson's Haymitch Abernathy:
4. Bruce Lee in 'Enter The Dragon'
When Bruce Lee was found dead of an apparent allergic reaction, he was mid-way through production on the action feature Game Of Death. Faced with the unenviable task of recreating the legendary martial artist, producers relied on body doubles and crude, analog face-swapping technology, even going so far as to paste a picture of Lee over the lead double's reflection in a mirror:
3. Oliver Reed in 'Gladiator'
During the production of Ridley Scott's historical epic, supporting actor Oliver Reed suffered a fatal heart attack during a break from shooting. Visual Effects specialist Rob Harvey was then tasked with finishing the late performer's scenes using then-primitive CGI.
2. Laurence Olivier in 'Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow'
On the other end of the digital spectrum, there's the case of Sky Captain. Hoping to garner a blast from the past for the retro throwback to 1930s adventure serials , the producers decided to cast iconic British actor Laurence Olivier as the villain — a mere 15 years after his death! By manipulating pre-existing footage of Olivier from an old BBC interview, the filmmakers brought the late actor back to life as a floating, holographic head:
1. Paul Walker in 'Furious 7'
Easily the most famous (and tragic) example of posthumous image manipulation is that of Paul Walker, who perished in a horrific car accident less than midway through shooting. Director James Wan opted to use a combination of advanced mo-cap tech as well as body doubles — prominent among them, Walker's real-life brothers, Caleb and Cody.