In new movie 'Finding Jack,' James Dean's image will be recreated by computer-generated imagery (CGI) from old footage and photos Photo: AFP
entertainment

James Dean 'cast' in new movie, 64 years after his death

12 Comments
By MIKE NELSON

More than 60 years after his death, movie legend James Dean is set to return to the screen thanks to special effects that recreate his image from old footage and photographs.

Dean, who died aged 24 in a car crash in 1955, has been "posthumously cast" in the Vietnam War action-drama "Finding Jack," the Hollywood Reporter said.

Production house Magic City Films obtained the rights to use Dean's image from his family for the screen adaption of Gareth Crocker’s 2008 novel.

The book tells the story of U.S. military dogs that were deployed and later abandoned in Vietnam.

Dean became a global star in the 1950s, acting in "Rebel Without a Cause" and "East of Eden" before his life was cut short, though he has remained a celebrated youth icon and an enduring heartthrob.

His part in the new film is as Rogan, described as a secondary lead role.

"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," said co-director Anton Ernst. "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."

Dean's image will be created through computer-generated imagery (CGI) using archive footage and photos, while another actor will provide his voice.

But the concept was not greeted with universal acclaim, with "Captain America" star Chris Evans tweeting: "This is awful. Maybe we can get a computer to paint us a new Picasso. The complete lack of understanding here is shameful."

The film, which is to go into production shortly, is due for release next November.

Its makers hope the technology will be used to bring other deceased stars back on screen in new roles.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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What's the point? It's not like the movie needs him, and I'd be amazed if 95% of the population know who he is anymore. It's just going to be an embarrassing gimmick.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's not an entirely new idea, resurrecting dead stars. Most recently, we saw it done in Rogue One, with Peter Cushing's character. And of course, the classic Steve Martin comedy/film noir hommage - Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

Is it a good idea? Dunno. Have to wait and see the end result, I suppose.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Toasted HereticToday 12:15 pm JSTIt's not an entirely new idea, resurrecting dead stars. Most recently, we saw it done in Rogue One, with Peter Cushing's character. And of course, the classic Steve Martin comedy/film noir hommage - Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

Is it a good idea? Dunno. Have to wait and see the end result, I suppose.

Giving that Hollywood has basically run out of fresh ideas and loves to douche up and bastardize classic themes (did somebody say 'Marvel Comics'?), this will probably be a total dud.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Giving that Hollywood has basically run out of fresh ideas and loves to douche up and bastardize classic themes (did somebody say 'Marvel Comics'?), this will probably be a total dud.

Possibly. But Hollywood has been recycling since the beginning. Dracula, Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes, cowboy movies, crime movies etc. George Lucas took from Kurosawa, who took from Ford. And that's fine. There are plenty of movies out there that can deviate from tried and tested formulae. But sometimes the audience enjoys the same old ingredients in a different coating.

Even Dean's Rebel Without a Cause is an age old theme on alienation between parents and kids. East of Eden takes its cues from the biblical Cain and Abel tale. And Giant was just a sprawling soap opera (albeit a good one).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wait, James Dean who died in Sept 1955, will star in a Vietnam War movie...........Didn't the Vietnam War start about two months after his death?

Well I guess all of that is moot since it will come out in 2020 at the earliest?

Should be interesting to see, if not just one time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Searched high and low."

Yeah right.

This is all about garnering publicity and curiosity for this movie.

It won't be a performance by Dean. He's dead.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The book tells the story of U.S. military dogs that were deployed and later abandoned in Vietnam.

Bhwa! Ha ha ha ha

This is it? Of all the crap that went on during that time, not to mention before and after, this is it? A story about abandoned Vietnam vets..uh vet dogs? Are the dogs transgendered or something?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"This is awful. Maybe we can get a computer to paint us a new Picasso. The complete lack of understanding here is shameful."

Yes, Chris Evans, because your job is so difficult and only someone with your incredible talent could do it. Please... you play dress up and pretend, get computers to do half of your scenes, and then get paid millions and millions for it.

I wholeheartedly agree with Scorcese... what you do is not art. It might be entertainment, but it certainly ain't art.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is stupid. He's dead. If you can't find a living actor that 'fits' your role, maybe you need to hire a new casting director.

It's not an entirely new idea, resurrecting dead stars. Most recently, we saw it done in Rogue One, with Peter Cushing's character.

True, but usually it's for small parts and it suits the film. They needed Grand Moff Tarkin to be in a scene so they put the character in digitally. Same with young Leia. And even then, in small doses, their digital likenesses were just off enough to be distracting.

But to cast a dead actor to play a completely new role in a film smells like a publicity stunt. Had you heard of this film before this announcement? I sure hadn't.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is it? Of all the crap that went on during that time, not to mention before and after, this is it? A story about abandoned Vietnam vets..uh vet dogs? Are the dogs transgendered or something?

A lot of stuff happened in Vietnam and there's already lot of films about all that stuff and there will be a lot more in the future. So why can't they tell this story too?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

hey those dogs saved a lot of lives and were deserted - their story should be told. I know a native american who was a dog handler in VN. he loved his dog

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But to cast a dead actor to play a completely new role in a film smells like a publicity stunt. Had you heard of this film before this announcement? I sure hadn't.

I hadn't, either.

The story could well be interesting but, as you say, the inclusion of a digitally resurrected Dean is the hook to generate (no pun intended) the hype.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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