“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,” Anton Ernst, co-director of new Vietnam War-drama Finding Jack, said to the Hollywood Reporter.
Yes, this was read correctly. Dean’s family gave his image rights to Ernst and co-director Tati Golykh’s new production house, Magic City Films. Two different VFX companies will be looking to create a ‘realistic’ version of Dean. But given the fact that he is not alive, this seems like an unlikely scenario.
Martin Scorsese’s new three-and-a-half hour gangster epic The Irishman is finally out in the world, and his use of CGI-enhanced de-aging is by far the most hyped thing around this film (well, along with Scorsese’s recent remarks about superhero movies). But it was done smart. Scorsese paces slow, and his characters take time to settle in rather than giving the audience a show. With his eclectic acting style, James Dean is certainly the latter.
Even with the skepticism surrounding The Irishman, it is simply easy to buy when De Niro, Pacino and Pesci are all voicing and acting in the film themselves. Sure, there are likely some tweaks here and there for continuity reasons. But this new attempt with recreation is essentially to bring people to a movie theater. Ernst and Golykh will reportedly be using a digital bodysuit and let another voice the appearance of Dean. These times we are living in are strange.
Every single piece of the recreation of Dean will be different and inevitably a complete guess, set aside the pictures the filmmakers have licensed from his other films. The future of Blade Runner is finally here, but this formula doesn’t seem like it will find success in 2020, and almost feels like too large of a leap at this stage of the game. We should really be worried as consumers. CMG Worldwide represents Dean’s family, as well as over 1,700 other historical personalities. Burt Reynolds, Christopher Reeve, and Ingrid Bergman could be next up if this overextension of reality continues.
The future is frightening for our valid working actors if they will be competing with the likes of the greatest of our deceased. Ernst searched everywhere for his Finding Jack lead and landed on somebody without a pulse, while some of the greatest acting to ever take place on the screen is happening in the 2010s.
Here’s to hoping that we can all get a laugh when Dean has one of his epic outbreaks with an unfamiliar inflection.