The death of actress Carrie Fisher has sparked much fan discussion about what will happen to the role of Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. However, Disney appears to have been prepared for the contingency.
When Disney originally announced plans to continue the Star Wars story with three new movies utilizing the older films' storyline, many fans wondered not only if the original actors would be able to adequately reprise their original roles but if they would live long enough to do so. Much of the speculation centered around Carrie Fisher reprising her role as Princess Leia, since the actress had long and public battles with alcoholism and depression.
Fisher did complete filming on two of the anticipated three movies, but her recent death has caused speculation about what will become of the character in the third and final film.
Disney, which owns the rights to the franchise, will have to decide whether to rewrite the script, cast a different actress or use a CGI likeness of Fisher. All is not lost for Disney, however, as they took out the largest life insurance policy in history to protect themselves in case Fisher could not finish filming the movies.
The story was reported in a Daily Mail article titled "Carrie Fisher's death will trigger biggest EVER personal accident claim after Disney took out $50MILLION policy in case she couldn't finish Star Wars films."
The $50 million that Disney will receive from insurers, should go a long way to making them whole and easing their pain from not being able to use Fisher as a live actress in the final Star Wars film. At the same time, however, details of the Fisher estate plan are not known at this time.
She might have left instructions about how and if her digital likeness could be used, which could have an impact on Disney's plans for the film. Fisher allowed a digital likeness of her younger self in another recent Star Wars film. Her contract with Disney might also contain provisions giving Disney the right to use her digital likeness, in case she was not able to complete filming.
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Reference: Daily Mail (Dec. 30, 2016) "Carrie Fisher's death will trigger biggest EVER personal accident claim after Disney took out $50MILLION policy in case she couldn't finish Star Wars films."