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Published 2022-04-28
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Christopher Reeve Acting Again. Dead Stars Taking Over Hollywood?

Most recently rumors have started going around the web that allegedly a past Superman will be making a return to the big screen in the upcoming Flash movie starring Ezra Miller. The news surprised fans and that’s because the original man behind the cape, Christopher Reeve, will be making a comeback, despite having passed away in 2004. But how is it possible that he will appear in front of the cameras again? The answer to this question shouldn't surprise anyone as it's all thanks to the special effects specialists. They are already able to rejuvenate actors for the needs of production, and the next revolutionary step is also resurrecting people who died years ago. How is a movie made with a dead star? Who has already been brought back into this world using modern technology? Why is it causing a wave of criticism in the acting community? Read on to find out!

Christopher Reeve In The Flash

The upcoming DC Comics film, The Flash, is allegedly set to change the entirety of DCEU as we know it today. The trailer for the flick revealed that Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen will not only be teaming up with another version of himself, but also with Michael Keaton’s Batman, and a new Supergirl. And of course, the brand new piece of information that Christopher Reeve will be appearing in the film. The news that was leaked by forum user Daniel RPK also stated he will appear in some capacity with the use of archive footage. According to the DCEU Leaks Reddit forum, the comic book movie leaker had not always been 100% correct with his claims. However, another user commented on the new movie writing: “I’m not sure it’s archive footage. I was told [Lynda] Carter, [Adam] West, and [Christopher] Reeve were low poly VFX shots after two screenings. I think they may be going for 'photo-real' CGI." For now, it is mainly rumors until the movie hits cinemas on June 23, 2023. But which other stars have appeared on screen even after they died? Read on to find out.

How Do Stars Appear On Screen After Death?

It was once rightly believed that death was the definitive end to an acting career, but today the situation is completely different as it has only become a transition to the digital afterlife. As CGI images have become easier to produce, movie studios are able to very reliably recreate deceased celebrities and even cast them in the lead roles. What's more, nowadays also music icons can return to the stage in the form of holograms, and even go on tours with their former bandmates. As you are about to find out.

Oliver Reed & Gladiator

Let's start with the cult 2000 production of Gladiator and Oliver Reed, who played the role of Antonius Proximo, the trainer of gladiators. Reportedly, he caused a lot of problems on the set of the film, all due to his passion for alcoholic beverages. And although some people might think that nothing could harm him, in fact, Reed died of a heart attack while still filming Gladiator. And since he had a few more key scenes to play, movie director Ridley Scott decided to revive him with CGI technology. Many commented that the effects for those times were stunning, and it is worth noting that the actor was posthumously nominated for his role for the Bafta Award.

Star Wars Revivals

When "Star Wars: Rogue 1" was written in 2016, the action of which takes place before the events of the first part of this saga, the creators knew perfectly well that the appearance on the screen of Peter Cushing, playing the role of the Great Moff Tarkin will be inevitable. And although he hasn't been alive for over two decades, the special effects specialist Industrial Light and Magic literally created the magic of the screen and his face was superimposed using CGI technology on the actor Guy Henry. In fact, Carrie Fisher was also digitally resurrected in “Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker ” in 2019, and to do this, Return of the Jedi footage was used.

Paul Walker in Fast & Furious

We also cannot forget about the very touching moment for many fans of Fast and the Furious, when the digital version of Paul Walker could be seen on the big screen. The actor has already had six parts of this spectacular series to his credit when, unfortunately, he died in a car accident in 2014, leaving a huge question mark over the seventh installment. Universal made a decision that made fans and the star's family happy. Walker was allowed to go on his final ride in the movie thanks to the impressive CGI effects, to be exact, he was replaced by his brother and Paul’s face was CGI’ed onto his.

Dead Stars In Adverts

Stunning special effects are not only the domain of great Hollywood productions. They are also used in advertising. For example, Audrey Hepburn, who has been dead for 20 years, appeared in the 60-second spot of the candy bar producer Dove. To create such an amazing end result, material from almost all of her films was used, and two doubles were also employed. One allowed them to recreate the facial expressions of the star, while the other allowed them to recreate the 20-inch waist. One of the latest commercials also featured the martial artist Bruce Lee, who passed away almost 50 years ago. His double in the spot was actor Danny Chan, whose face was replaced with the image of the late karate using CGI technology.

Dead Stars In Music

At the beginning, we also mentioned the dead music stars who return to the stages as holograms and perform their greatest hits. It turns out, however, that great artists who left this world a long time ago, even go on tours. An example is Roy Orbison, who in 2018 sang as a hologram on stages in America, Europe, and Great Britain. On the other hand, in Korea, artificial intelligence literally revived the voice of the late Kim Kwang-Seok, who died many years ago.

James Dean In A Movie

As you can see, there are many examples of actors or artists revived thanks to modern technology. But maybe now let's look at the star whose resurrection on the screen has caused the most emotions lately. James Dean, the famous Rebel by Choice, played only three significant roles in his career and tragically passed away at the age of 24. Which does not change the fact that his artistic output will soon increase. This is due to the war movie Finding Jack, where he will play a supporting character named Rogan. His voice will be provided by another actor and his appearance will be reconstructed by the artists. ​​The latter will be taken care of by Imagine Engine, and for this purpose, the creators will engage another actor to capture the characters' movements, professionally known as performance capture. He will then be superimposed on Dean's reconstructed face.

Criticism For Such Practice

The choice of James Dean to star in the latest film may not be surprising on the one hand, after all, he was one of the most prominent stars, but there are still questions about why this was not entrusted to a living person? This decision of the filmmakers had many echoes in the film industry and social media. The living stars protested against the use of digital clones of dead actors. Chris Evans did not spare his harsh words. He ironically asked on Twitter if the computer would soon paint a new Picasso for us or write new John Lennon songs. The Captain America impersonator stated that he was sure James Dean himself would be shocked by now. Elijah Wood, the famous Frodo from The Lord of the Rings, stated that this should never happen. And the USA Today newspaper also quoted Robin Williams' daughter, who said, and we quote, “I've been talking about this for years, but no one believed show business could fall this low. I don't know if it's a marketing gimmick or a serious offer, but it's making a hand puppet out of a corpse. "

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