James Dean to Return in New Movie Thanks to CGI, and Twitter Isn’t Having It

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James Dean is making a truly unexpected comeback to the big screen. Dean, in a short period of time, rose to become one of the most iconic figures in American cinema, before his untimely passing in a car crash in 1955 at the age of 24. That ended a truly promising life and career far too early. Now, thanks to groundbreaking digital technology, Dean is going to be resurrected for a new Vietnam War movie called Finding Jack. And some fans on Twitter just aren’t having it, especially Captain America star Chris Evans, who is perhaps most outspoken about this turn of events.

According to a new report, directors Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh are behind the project and have obtained the rights to use James Dean’s image from his family. Via their company Magic City Films, they will use CGI, in partnership with Canada’s Imagine Engine and the South Africa-based MOI Worldwide to bring the actor back for Finding Jack. Using what is described as “full body” CGI, Dean will be brought into the otherwise fully live-action movie, and the filmmakers promise “a realistic version of James Dean.” Another actor will be cast to provide Dean’s voice. Ernst had this to say in a statement.

“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.”

Based on Gareth Crocker’s novel of the same name, Finding Jack centers on the abandonment of 10,000 military dogs at the end of the Vietnam War. James Dean’s character Rogan is one of the lead roles. After starring in various TV shows, Dean became a sensation in East of Eden. Dean only made two more movies, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant before his untimely passing. Yet, even with just three movies under his belt, Dean is one of the most recognizable figures in the history of American cinema and his legacy has endured through the decades. As such, a project like this runs the risk of sullying that legacy. But there are other concerns.

What does this mean for the future? Will other stars of the past be brought back to life using CGI? De-aging technology has already become more commonplace, and Martin Scorsese leaned on it heavily to make his new movie The Irishman. There’s also the matter of resurrecting Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which pushed this idea further. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. And, according to Anton Ernst, this is just the first of many.

“Our partners in South Africa are very excited about this, as this technology would also be employed down the line to re-create historical icons such as Nelson Mandela to tell stories of cultural heritage significance.”

If this experiment proves successful, the floodgates will be open. What’s next? Marilyn Monroe making her return in her own biopic? Will the stars of today have to be more specific about what can be done with their likeness rights after their passing? This movie is sure to be just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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