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.