You’ve really got to wonder what the creators of the upcoming movie ‘starring’ the late James Dean were thinking when they thought to use CGI to bring the much-loved actor back to the big screen. Even worse as Abbey White of Looper indicates is the idea that Dean’s family signed off on this, which makes one think that the planet must have gone mad for just one moment in time when they believed this to be a good idea that actually held some weight. Are they serious? Thinking that this was in any way a good idea, or that Dean, who was apparently as anti-war as could be, would star in a movie depicting American soldiers in Vietnam, is beyond the pale in a way that suggests that there might be a big payoff coming to the Dean family and that the creators were somehow under the impression that they were being innovative and somehow refreshing in their choice to go ahead with this. It’s enough to make many upon many people face-palm or shake their heads as they roll their eyes at the very idea.
It’s not the first time this has been done obviously since Star Wars has been seen to participate in this recreation of characters as well. There is a vast difference between bringing a character back for a short cameo through CGI and bringing them back to a starring role, though both are highly questionable. But at this point a good part of Hollywood and those related to them have spoken out about their displeasure and are not about to stay quiet when it comes to one of the biggest film legends in history being brought back from the dead to create a movie and give it an authentic feel. It might seem like a lot more sentiment than practicality, but at the risk of sounding too emotional this is wrong on so many levels largely because it takes away a viable role from someone that might actually be able to recreate Dean’s iconic look and perform his role in a way that is every bit as good. The creators of the movie say they’ve looked high and low but it would appear that they might have been looking with blinders on since there are a few actors that could play the part of James Dean from a reasonable standpoint. James Franco comes to mind, even Dave Franco might actually be convincing enough, Zac Efron and even Robert Pattinson might be able to do the part justice, but of course they’re not going to be considerations since the creators are looking for perfection and not something that’s relatively close. Sharareh Drury of The Hollywood Reporter had more to say on this matter.
Another issue with this is that it’s insanely disrespectful since quite honestly the greats that have passed are gone, they had their time and unfortunately some of their careers were cut shorter than they should have been. But that was fate, destiny, whatever a person wants to call it, and summoning them back in any semblance needs to be done with a bit of respect, if at all. With the wealth of actors at their disposal it’s hard to think that they couldn’t have settled on someone without having to turn to this travesty. James Dean was an icon in his time and still is when speaking of his impact on Hollywood. The fact that someone is willing to take his legacy and soil it with CGI is hard to stomach, and even worse is the idea that the Dean family is going to allow it. It might sound like a bunch of whining but the fact that we’ve lost some of the greatest actors ever while they were still in their prime is regrettable, but this speaks of the inability to let people go, to let their memory rest as it is without needing to drag them back into the limelight for some added exposure. The CGI craze can’t end soon enough at this point since it’s a wonder that more and more deceased celebrities haven’t been pulled up to be subjected to this treatment. It’s saddening of course that we lost them, that their light was extinguished when so many people were still enjoying them. But this is something that seems more than just disrespectful, it actually seems blasphemous in a way. Sonia Rao of the Washington Post has her own opinion on this subject.
There will be plenty of people that praise it no doubt as a way to bring back the greats that have passed on over the years, but should it become a trend it seems like a very bad idea. The stars that have come before did their part to make Hollywood great, it’s time to let them simply rest and be counted as legends, not to drag them back into the fray for our entertainment. Hopefully more people will see this in the days to come, but it seems doubtful.