The directors of a new Vietnam film originally wanted Elvis Presley CGI to star as the controversial character instead of James Dean. They suddenly had a change of heart and decided to cast James Dean instead in CGI format. Why the change of heart?
Film directors, Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh initially had Elvis in mind for the CGI role long before finalizing the decision to cast James Dean in CGI for the $40 million dollar project, "Finding Jack."
Elvis died in 1977 at age 42. He was previously cast as a malfunctioning hologram in a scene for 2017’s “Blade Runner 2049.”
James Dean passed away much younger at age 24 when he perished in a horrible car accident in 1955.
The Debate Over Casting Elvis vs. James Dean
There was also “a short debate” about deploying the same VFX technology being used on Dean to cast another deceased icon — a “young Paul Newman.” However, they quickly settled on just having Dean as the sole CGI cast member.
Ernst said he doesn't want to make Dean into a spectacle.
“We don’t want this to become a spectacle — more than it already is,” said Ernst, who added that the reactions to Dean’s posthumous casting are “nuts, just nuts.”
He also stated that Dean has "big balls" and it's a good challenge.
Bringing Back The Legendary James Dean
Dean will appear as a CGI model crafted from old footage of the Hollywood icon. When it comes to voicing the avatar, Golykh said she’s received “a lot of emails” from people claiming they can do “solid impressions” of Dean.
Dean's family came forward regarding the controversy surrounding digitally inserting Dean into the film.
An Australian AI company specializing in training computers to speak like people based on recordings has also reached out to take part in the film but the directors "drew the line.”
“We said no because that would have been a bit ghostly,” Ernst explained.
James Dean: A Hollywood Legend
Mark Roesler, an attorney for Dean's family, told Fox News, “James Dean was perhaps the greatest actor of all time and is admired by fans around the world.”
Roesler also noted that “Despite his untimely death at the age of 24, technology allows us to continue to honor Jimmy’s legacy and inspiration to so many people.”
His family hopes this new technology will keep Dean's memory alive in the years to come.
We have represented his family for 38 years and they are confident that Jimmy’s rebellious and trailblazing personality is consistent with being the first to fearlessly embrace this new technology for Hollywood."
The controversial issue is that CGI will replace actors and Hollywood will never be the same.