People have been looking forward to/dreading this — the computerized revival of dead actors — for some time now, with James Dean long striking me as the likeliest due to his die young, stay pretty career. From the Hollywood Reporter:
6:10 AM PST 11/6/2019 by Alex Ritman
The cultural icon, who died in 1955, will return to the screen via CGI using actual footage and photos for ‘Finding Jack.’
James Dean, who died in a 1955 car crash at the age of 24, is making an unexpected return to the big screen.
The cultural icon, known for Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden, has been posthumously cast in the Vietnam era action-drama Finding Jack. …
While Finding Jack will be live action, The Hollywood Reporter understands that Dean’s performance will be constructed via “full body” CGI using actual footage and photos. Another actor will voice him.
… The filmmakers are now hoping that the CGI technology used to bring Dean back to life onscreen could soon be deployed on other well-known figures.
“This opens up a whole new opportunity for many of our clients who are no longer with us,” said Mark Roesler, CEO of CMG Worldwide, which represents Dean’s family alongside more than 1,700 entertainment, sports, music and historical personalities, including the likes of Burt Reynolds, Christopher Reeve, Ingrid Bergman, Neil Armstrong, Bette Davis and Jack Lemmon. …
Barton added: “Now that we have closed with this iconic figure, we look forward to rapidly closing our remaining actors.”
Uhhhh … I believe the phrase “we look forward to rapidly closing our remaining actors” is actually intended in a less dystopian sense than it sounds. They don’t mean “put our society’s remaining actors out to pasture,” they mean “close contractual deals with the rest of our intended cast, most of whom are living human beings.”
Does CGI really work? Is it yet practical to keep old actors going indefinitely? In my review of The Irishman, I consider whether Netflix got its money’s worth out of digitally de-aging the old time actors.
I suspect teenage girls will be the last demographic to give up on living celebrities. They like new celebrities just a little older than themselves.