Hollywood has always been at the forefront of trying different technological techniques in order to enhance their movies. In 2009, James Cameron gave us Avatar, a film that revolutionized the use of motion capture and 3D film viewing, ever since then Tinseltown has been looking for new ways to tell their stories.
Just recently, there has been news that the classic Hollywood actor James Dean could be brought back to life to posthumously star in a Vietnam War-era film Finding Jack. The movie, about a man who lost his family and decides to voluntarily enlist to cope with his grief, appears to only have one role actually cast in the film: James Dean.
Now, posthumously adding actors into films isn’t something new—it’s been happening for years. Take Carrie Fisher and the recent Star Wars movies or Audrey Hepburn back in 2014 for a Dove Chocolate commercial; even Marilyn Monroe’s likeness has been used to sell perfume. But casting an actor as legendary as James Dean shouldn’t be used in a film that still has no concrete production schedule.
Predictably, this news was met with anger, disappointment and even a few impassioned pleas to get the movie shut down. WorldWide X, the company behind the fiasco, have the rights to several other deceased celebrities like Josephine Baker, Lana Turner and Burt Reynolds.
They plan on doing this with other celebrities, but if the reaction to them bringing James Dean back to life is any indicator, it won’t go over too well.
People have a nostalgic connection to these stars. Bringing them back from their resting places is not only odd but uncreative.
Instead of casting someone who could invoke the same type of screen presence that Dean once did, like Robert Pattinson or even Miles Teller, the production crew decided to take the easy route of computer-generating a well-known star that could’ve been replaced by someone else.
This is Hollywood at its laziest and most uncreative.
In the day and age of reboots, mega franchises and conveyor belt movies, it appears that the movie industry is quickly running out of gimmicks to get people into movie theatres.
Recreating beloved actors and actresses that have passed on in order to fill a role is a slippery slope to go down. Not only will it give directors the freedom to put these performers in questionable movies with plotlines that aren’t the most family-friendly, but it will also keep real-life actors out of real jobs.
Hopefully, this project to get James Dean back on the silver screen doesn’t come to fruition. It will set a terrible precedent for directors and producers and will alienate moviegoers who are already hesitant to spend money on movie tickets.
Hollywood can do better.