James Dean, yes that James Dean, will star in an upcoming movie via computer technology
James Dean, arguably the biggest male fashion icon of the 1950s, starred in just three movies. In a brief window, between 1955–56, the Hoosier heartthrob rocketed to idol status with mesmerizing performances in East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. With his casually swept hair, white tees and jeans, Dean epitomized the brooding cool of post-war teenagers.
He would be dead before Rebel and Giant even hit theaters. He slammed his Porsche into a Ford in a fatal car crash in the fall of 1955.
Next year, Dean will return to the big screen with a major role in a Vietnam War film called Finding Jack.
You can thank — or blame, depending on your technological views — CGI for the modern movie magic.
Directors Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh, whose production house Magic City Films holds the rights to Dean's image from his family, have "cast" James Dean for their 'Nam tale, which centers around the use of military dogs.
"We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role of Rogan, which has some extreme [sic] complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean," Ernst told The Hollywood Reporter, who broke the news.
The movie will be "live-action," with the likeness of Dean digitally inserted. Something like this was inevitable, as Star Wars movies have already featured digital likenesses of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher. This, however, takes the technique to a new level, bringing back a household name for a significant role. Another actor will provide Dean's voice. Production starts later this month, with a release eyed for Veterans Day in 2020.
Before becoming a teen idol, Dean performed in a string of anthology television series in the early Fifties, showing off his smoldering skills in shows like Kraft Television Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, The Philco Television Playhouse and General Electric Theater.
The big question is — who's next? Elvis? Lucy? Marilyn? It is bound to happen. With "deepfake" tech, the process will only become easier. We've been on this trajectory for two decades, ever since a deceased Fred Astaire danced with a vacuum cleaner in a Super Bowl commercial.
Does this worry you? Is there anyone you'd like to see brought back?