The death of any popular figure is always a sad moment, but in the case of actors it can pose genuine moral and practical problems. If a star dies mid-production of a film, then there’s obviously the question of how the film will adjust itself, which can often be overweighed by a desire to not disrespect the actor’s legacy in any way. Entire projects have been shelved or changed completely for this exact reason.
The death of Paul Walker last weekend has put Fast And Furious 7, which was right in the middle of production, on hold for those two reasons and given how early in shooting the film still was, expect any later attempt to be rather different to what Universal originally had planned.
However, it’s not always the end of a film when a key player is dead. Producers use all manner of tricks (from the woefully simple to the questionably complicated) to extend an actor’s on screen life. Here a five movies that did just that in the craziest of ways.
Honourable Mention: Heath Ledger Had Already Done All His Work For The Dark Knight
Let’s get this out of the way before I even begin. It’d be easy to state The Dark Knight, for which Heath Ledger famously won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, as a great example of an actor starring in a film posthumously. In this case, however, it’s far from magical; Ledger had completely finished the role, with the publicity drive for the film already kicking into full gear.
His untimely death did give the film an added layer of intrigue, but little effort was required to get the film into cinemas (the only real effect on the series was an assumed shift in the plot of The Dark Knight Rises).
This article was first posted on December 8, 2013