First they came for our deceased musical heroes, and now they’re coming for our late Hollywood icons. James Dean, who died tragically in 1955 at the age of 24, has been posthumously cast to star in the upcoming Vietnam War action-drama Finding Jack. Just as artists like Whitney Houston and Ronnie James Dio have been resurrected via holograms, Dean will be brought back to life thanks to CGI.
The new film comes from directors Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh and their recently launched production studio Magic City Films. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company has obtained rights from Dean’s family to use the star’s likeness. Canadian VFX studio Image Engine (District 9, Jurassic World) will team up with South African VFX company MOI Worldwide to build a full-body CGI version of the Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden star using real footage and photos. The resulting character will be voiced by another actor.
Based on Gareth Crocker’s book of the same name, Finding Jack is the story of thousands of military canines who were abandoned at the end of the Vietnam War. Dean has been “cast” as the supporting lead, Rogan.
“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,” Ernst stated.
He went on,
“We feel very honored that his family supports us and will take every precaution to ensure that his legacy as one of the most epic film stars to date is kept firmly intact. The family views this as his fourth movie, a movie he never got to make. We do not intend to let his fans down.”
In a grossly worded statement, CMG Worldwide CEO Mark Roesler said the use of technology to bring back Dean “opens up a whole new opportunity for many of our clients who are no longer with us.” CMG represents Dean’s family as well as over 1,700 historical personalities like Christopher Reeve, Ingrid Bergman, Neil Armstrong, Burt Reynolds, Jack Lemmon, and Bette Davis.
Preproduction for Finding Jack kicks off November 17th with the aim for a global release on Veterans Day 2020.