Well I think we all knew this was coming. After recent CG advances have allowed digital likenesses of Peter Cushing and a young Carrie Fisher to pass by almost unnoticed in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we have been moving towards a day where actors will return to the big screen from beyond the grave with entirely new performances. Now that day seems to be upon us with the announcement of a movie that will star a CG recreation of legendary actor James Dean, who died tragically in a car crash in 1955 at the age of 24. The movie is a Vietnam era action-drama called Finding Jack and co-director Anton Ernst had this to say about the project:
“We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role of Rogan, which has some extreme complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean… We feel very honored that his family supports us and will take every precaution to ensure that his legacy as one of the most epic film stars to date is kept firmly intact. The family views this as his fourth movie, a movie he never got to make. We do not intend to let his fans down.”
Canadian VFX house Imagine Engine and South African company MOI Worldwide will be using actual footage and photos to create a realistic CG version of Dean. He will be voiced by another actor, however, and the rest of the movie will be live-action. While this sounds like a huge gimmick, it is projects like this that will slowly push the idea of digital posthumous performances into the mainstream. Living human actors, your days are numbered. What do you think, does this open up exciting new possibilities or is it just a horrifying idea?