James Dean is set to make an iconic return to the big screen, 64 years after his tragic death, thanks to incredible new technological advances.
The star, who died in a devastating car crash in 1955 at the young age of 24, will be brought back using Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) visual effects, to star in an emotional film about the Vietnam War, Variety reports. According to the publication, company Magic City Films has obtained rights from his family to cast Dean posthumously in a lead role for Finding Jack.
A realistic version of Dean will be created using the technology, while another person will provide the voiceover, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Speaking about the creative decision, producer Anton Ernst said he was thankful for the family’s commitment to the project that will in some sense bring the star back to life.
“We feel very honoured that his family support 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,” he told Variety. “The family views this as his fourth movie, a movie he never got to make. We do not intend to let his fans down.”
Finding Jack will be based on a novel of the same name written by Gareth Crocker and published in 2008. It follows the emotional journey of a young man who goes to war with a plan to die, but finds strength in helping a dog he finds alone and injured.
The idea to bring back Dean to the big screen through CGI has excited producers and sparked ideas to use the technology to tell the stories of other iconic figures. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Mark Roesler, CEO of company CMG Worldwide, which represents Dean’s family, said it brings about a range of new opportunities in the movie industry.
While Ernst added: “Our partners in South Africa are very excited about this, as this technology would also be employed down the line to re-create historical icons such as Nelson Mandela to tell stories of cultural heritage significance.”
Although Finding Jack is sure to be a movie that is remembered by many, it will not erase the memories and love of Dean’s starring roles in movies such as Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant. His performances were so impressive that after his tragic death in 1955, he became the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
That wasn’t the only honour received after death though, with the American Film Institute later ranking him 18th best male movie star of the Golden Age Hollywood in its ‘100 years … 100 stars’ list.
Sadly it was his love of car racing which eventually took his life. He had competed in several events over the years and was breaking in his Porsche 550 Spyder on a drive from Los Angeles to Salinas when he collided with another vehicle.
Dean’s passenger was flung out of the vehicle, but the star was sadly left trapped inside. He suffered multiple fatal injuries, including a broken neck and was pronounced dead at the scene.