Even though silver screen legend James Dean has been dead for almost 65 years, he has just been cast in an upcoming movie titled Finding Jack.
The film, which is directed by Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh, is a Vietnam War action-drama about “the existence and abandonment of more than 10,000 military dogs at the end of the Vietnam War,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Dean has been cast as a character named Rogan, who is listed as a secondary lead role. Entertainment Weekly reports that Rogan is “a platoon leader who initially pushes back against the lead character’s relationship with his new canine pal.” Rogan apparently goes from bad guy to good guy by film’s end.
“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 said.
Ernst and Golykh’s production company, Magic City Films, has obtained the rights to use the late actor’s image by his family.
The announcement of this CGI casting has become a controversy among Hollywood actors and fans. As you may remember, Dean died in 1955 in a car crash at the age of 24, having only starred in three films.
Ernst also said, “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.”
Actor Chris Evans tweeted, “I’m sure he’d be thrilled. This is awful. Maybe we can get a computer to paint us a new Picasso. Or write a couple new John Lennon tunes. The complete lack of understanding here is shameful.”
I’m sure he’d be thrilled 🙄
This is awful.
Maybe we can get a computer to paint us a new Picasso. Or write a couple new John Lennon tunes.
The complete lack of understanding here is shameful. https://t.co/hkwXyTR4pu
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) November 6, 2019
Elijah Wood agreed, writing, “NOPE. This shouldn’t be a thing.”
NOPE. this shouldn’t be a thing. https://t.co/RH7jWY5cAG
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) November 6, 2019
Zelda Williams, daughter of the late Robin Williams, also weighed in, saying, “I have talked to friends about this for YEARS and no one ever believed me that the industry would stoop this low once tech got better. Publicity stunt or not, this is puppeteering the dead for their ‘clout’ alone and it sets such an awful precedent for the future of performance.”
I have talked to friends about this for YEARS and no one ever believed me that the industry would stoop this low once tech got better. Publicity stunt or not, this is puppeteering the dead for their ‘clout’ alone and it sets such an awful precedent for the future of performance. https://t.co/elS1BrbDGv
— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) November 6, 2019
See other reactions below.
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. https://t.co/YbUQ2lG8Iy
— Courtney Pochin (@courtneypochin) November 6, 2019
Mark Roesler, CEO of CMG Worldwide says in addition to other famous, deceased personalities; the film “opens up a whole new opportunity for many of our clients who are no longer with us.” TO BE READ AS: "Found a new way to rob graves of dead icons and milk the masses for less!" https://t.co/67Nxze0wLN
— Dylan Sprouse (@dylansprouse) November 6, 2019
Having actors in movies past their death only devalues their lives. We all miss Stan Lee or Robin Williams, but I'd rather appreciate the great things they did with their lives than roll out their CGI corpses for nostalgiabux!
Congrats, Hollywood, you've ruined life itself.
— Some Random Internet Dude (@SomeRandomInte4) November 6, 2019
Finding Jack is set to be released on Nov. 11, 2020, with production beginning on Nov. 17 of this year.
What do you think of using a CGI James Dean for this movie? Let us know in the comments.