Sixty-four years after his death at age 24, James Dean has been “cast” to star in the new film, “Finding Jack.” The Hollywood Reporter broke the news Wednesday morning.
“Finding Jack” is based on the novel by Gareth Crocker and adapted by Maria Sova. It tells the story of more than 10,000 military dogs abandoned at the end of the Vietnam War. Dean will “play” the second lead, a character named Rogan in a film set nearly twenty years after his untimely death.
James Dean starred in three films in his career, after appearing on several television series. His roles in “Rebel Without a Cause,” “East of Eden,” and “Giant” were enough to turn him into a star, and the car wreck that killed him sealed his fate as a legend.
The film will be directed by Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh, who secured the rights for Dean’s likeness from his family. The “performance” will incorporate actual filmed footage of the icon, as well as photographs used to simulate his appearance. An as-yet-unnamed actor will supply his voice.
Ernst said of the controversial move:
“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.
“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.”
Such work has been done before. Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin was “resurrected” to appear in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in 2016. And while some fans were delighted by the possibility, others were unhappy. And after Carrie Fisher passed away just days after that film’s release, many worried that Lucasfilm would attempt the same technology to preserve her role for the upcoming “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams quickly put an end to those rumors.
CMG Worldwide represents Dean’s family and more than 1700 historical personalities from the world of film, sports, and music. CEO Mark Roesler told THR, “This opens up a whole new opportunity for many of our clients who are no longer with us.”
And, indeed, it does. CMG represents the families of Burt Reynolds, Christopher Reeve, Ingrid Bergman, Neil Armstrong, Bette Davis and Jack Lemmon, to name a few. How would Hollywood react if Christopher Reeve suddenly returned for the next incarnation of Superman?
It may sound exciting to some, but others are skeptical. It seems as if there is no such thing as resting in peace.
What do you think of the news that James Dean will return to the big screen in a new role? Comment below and share your thoughts!