Slightly more than a year ago, we noted there could be a way to have Carole Lombard perform more than three-quarters of a century after her death, as rock legend Roy Orbison -- who died in 1988 -- "toured" via hologram (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/941100.html). This year, Orbison repeated the effort, teamed with the hologram of fellow Texas rocker Buddy Holly.
Now, it appears CGI effects will enable another ill-fated Hoosier Hollywood icon to act once more on the big screen...James Dean, who died in a car crash Sept. 30, 1955.
Dean is to "act" in the Vietnam-era action-drama "Finding Jack," about military dogs at the close of the conflict in 1975, more than two decades after the French lost what then was called Indochina. Dean's character is considered a secondary lead (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/afm-james-dean-reborn-cgi-vietnam-war-action-drama-1252703). Dean's family and estate have given Magic City Films the right to use his likeness for the movie (although another actor will voice the character).
The news has caused a furor in Hollywood, including vehement criticism from actors Chris Evans and Elijah Wood (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/arts/james-dean-cgi-movie.html). But Martin Scorsese's recently released gangster epic "The Irishman" uses CGI to "de-age" several cast members.
With Dean's likeness used in this film -- slated for a November 2020 release -- which other Hollywood giants might undergo the same treatment? Marilyn Monroe? Clark Gable? Carole? What should the ground rules be for their use? This could open the floodgates for both good and ill.
Should actors' families and estates be allowed to license their images for use in films? What restrictions, if any, should be imposed? Let's have your thoughts. While many of us deem Lombard a woman ahead of her time, that doesn't necessarily mean she should cavort with a cast of actors who entered this world years or even decades after she left.