James Dean has been dead for over 60 years, but he is making a return to the big screen.
Dean is set to star in a new movie entitled "Finding Jack." The film will detail the abandonment of over 10,000 military dogs after the Vietnam War drew to a close. Dean will be playing the role of Rogan, a "secondary lead role" in the film. However, Dean will not be showing up with the rest of the cast and crew to film the movie as he died in a car accident over 60 years ago, at just 24 years old.
Dean's return to the screen is all thanks to the magic of CGI.
CGI (computer-generated images) technology has made it possible for Magic City Films, the production company behind "Finding Jack," to virtually reconstruct Dean from head-to-toe based on footage and photos of him. Another actor will voice Dean's lines. The rights to Dean's image were acquired from Dean's family/the managers of his estate who fully support the project.
This is yet another instance of Hollywood's CGI fever.
The film industry is continuing its love affair with CGI. After Paul Walker's death in 2015, the team behind Fast and Furious 7 used Walker's brothers to complete motion capture in order to accurately create a CGI version of the late actor. Another notable trend is de-aging actors in films, this could be seen in Will Smith's character in "Gemini Man," Samuel L. Jackson's appearance in "Captain Marvel," the re-creation of young Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," or more recently, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci in "The Irishman" However, all of these actors and actresses were alive to consent to their image/likeliness being used. Dean's estate gave their permission, but who knows how far Hollywood could run with resurrecting past stars? Even worse, CGI technology holds a frightening power in that it enables individuals to potentially create digital recreations of high-profile figures without their consent.
The creation of "deep fakes" is a serious issue that is just beginning to emerge.
Bringing back James Dean from the dead shows that CGI has developed way beyond its original intentions. Technology experts are sounding the alarm on "deep fakes," a combination of AI and CGI that produces eerily realistic videos of celebrities and leaders. A deep fake video of Barack Obama made by Jordan Peele's production company acted as a PSA about the dangers of AI and CGI when it made the rounds on the internet (watch below). It's just one sneak peek into how deep fakes could potentially cause global issues. Even if we may want to see our favorite stars who have passed return to the big screen, it is not worth the potential consequences.
If this technology gets into the wrong hands, there's no telling how far it will go.
You Won't Believe What Obama Says In This Video! 😉 YouTube