The news that James Dean is being resurrected through CGI to “star” in a new film despite dying in 1955 has been met with fierce criticism online, but Hollywood has form when it comes to this sort of thing.
Down the years Hollywood producers have used ingenious ways to recreate sadly departed actors on screen to give them a fitting send-off.
Paul Walker – Fast & Furious 7
Walker had six and a half Fast & Furious movies under his belt when he died in a car crash in 2014, leaving a huge question mark hanging over the seventh installment. Universal did the decent thing and put the movie on hold while they decided how to handle the situation, ultimately coming up with a solution that would make Paul Walker’s fans and family happy.
Walker’s character, Brian was able to make a dignified exit at the movie’s finale, thanks mainly to footage the actor already shot, some impressive facial CGI, and stand-in contributions from Paul’s two lookalike brothers, Caleb and Cody. We cried. You cried. Everyone cried. Mission accomplished.
Peter Cushing – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Set just before the events of the first Star Wars film, Rogue One centered around the Rebellion’s theft of the Death Star plans, making an appearance from Peter Cushing’s character Grand Moff Tarkin seemingly unavoidable. Undeterred by the actor’s death in 1994, Industrial Light and Magic built a new performance around stand-in actor Guy Henry, employing motion-capture and a facial-expression tracker to animate footage and photographs of the Hammer star.
“Essentially, we’re using the computer graphics as a tool to alter his appearance,” VFX supervisor John Knoll explained to Yahoo in 2016. “And this was done in consultation and cooperation with his estate. So we wouldn’t do this if the estate had objected or didn’t feel comfortable with this idea.”
Read more: yahoo