James dean was Hollywood’s 1950’s iconic bad boy, his live fast attitude was comparable only to his talent as an actor; Yet when you live fast you run the risk to die fast, and unfortunately in 1955, at the age of 24, he died in a car crash.
Though he only had 3 credited film roles, he is to this day known a one of film history’s biggest stars and his popularity has wavered little with is name being instantly recognizable by even today’s generation. That may soon change as he, or rather, his image has been cast as a supporting role in an upcoming film “Finding Jack”, Directed by Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh, a film about abandoned canine units of the Vietnam war.
It’s been informed that Dean will be a composite of old photos and footage along with usage of CGI.
The use of CGI to create virtual humans has been exponentially increasing in cinema and it is unlikely that the technologies and the push for more realistic render will ever stop, but there is a question as to how far will be too far in regards of their use in the representation of human beings.
The 2001 film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, was a technical experiment to push the concept of virtual actors and models with the films protagonist Aki Ross even appearing in magazine covers, and even being considered one of 2001 sexiest women among real women.
Though Aki Ross has yet to have another film under her belt, the technology that produced her has advanced and films like Gemini man, demonstrated that while the technology is yet to be perfected it is possible to accurately represent human beings through CGI.
That said the difference of both of these scenarios and the present one lies on the use of a dead persons image to and its manipulation to conform a significant role within the films production, for said reason the film has received heavy criticism from industry professionals who see this as taking advantage of James Dean’s image for the sake of promoting the film, when any living actor could have done just as good a job, if not better, under the current conditions.
Furthermore it opens the possibility for use of this technology in other films, thus generating a new competitive market for the dead. Thus posing the question, shall the dead be walking?