How can you put a cost on human life? You can't. But you can attempt to put a price on how much that person's absence can cost a company. And in the case of Paul Walker, that could turn out to be as much as $50 million.
That's how much Universal Pictures is expected to claim from its insurance in order to finish filming Fast & Furious 7 without its late star, Paul Walker, who was killed over five months ago in a car crash in LA. When the fatal accident occurred, Walker was in the midst of filming the seventh installment of the wildly popular Fast & Furious franchise. Rather than scrap the project or start anew – both of which would have undoubtedly cost the studio even more – Universal chose to finish the film, using a combination of other actors (including Walker's brothers) and CGI to fill in where Walker would be missed.
The process will not only cost the studio extra time – including some high-priced salaries like that of Vin Diesel – but also a veritable fortune to orchestrate the intricate camerawork and computer animation to digitally recreate Paul Walker's likeness on screen.
Fortunately, The Hollywood Reporter notes that Universal is insured for such calamity, and with the delays and added costs now estimated at $50 million (on top of the film's original budget of $200 million), it's reportedly passing on that cost to its underwriters. The Fireman's Fund Insurance Company is apparently in the process of working out the specifics with the studio's insurance broker, Albert G. Ruben at Aon, but if it ends up paying the $50 million bill, it would be the largest insurance claim of its kind in history. Previous notable claims were made for $20 million when John Candy died during the filming of Wagons East! in 1994 and for an estimated $10-15 million when Robert Downey Jr. broke his ankle during the filming of Iron Man 3.