In a move that either signals the breathtaking possibilities of technology or the onset of a certain dystopia, cultural icon James Dean is posthumously returning to film. According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, the Rebel Without A Cause actor—who tragically died in 1955 at the age of 24—will appear in a “secondary lead role” in the film adaptation of Gareth Crocker’s Vietnam era novel, Finding Jack. Director Anton Ernst explained that after an extensive search and an analysis of the character Rogan, Dean appeared to be the best fit. Thankfully, Dean’s family supports the idea.
“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,” Ernst told THR. “The family views this as his fourth movie, a movie he never got to make. We do not intend to let his fans down.” Dean’s likeness will be rendered for the live action film via “full body” CGI with the help of pictures and actual footage. Another actor will step in to provide the voice. Preproduction begins November 17 with a tentative goal of a Veterans Day 2020 release.
The filmmakers and Mark Roesler, CEO of Dean’s representing agency CMG Worldwide, hope that this will lead to a trend involving late actors: “This opens up a whole new opportunity for many of our clients who are no longer with us.” So for fans of dearly departed talents who may have died before appearing in dream projects, this could be cool. As for all the new talent who have studied their craft for years with the hopes of one day breaking into the business and now have to compete with the likes of Dean or Bette Davis... uh, good luck?