James Dean's career was on a high before his life was tragically cut short in 1955 at the the age of 24, however, the late star is now being brought back to the big screen for Vietnam War-era picture Finding Jack.
The Rebel Without a Cause star, who died in a car accident, is returning through the use of CGI constructed through archive footage and photos to play the part of Rogan, a secondary lead role in the live action film. However, he will be voiced by another actor.
The part will be Dean's fourth credited film role after East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant.
Finding Jack is being adapted by Maria Sova from Gareth Crocker's novel of the same name, and is based on the existence and abandonment of more than 10,000 military dogs at the end of the Vietnam War.
Director Anton Ernst told Hollywood Reporter: "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 honoured 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."
Ernst is directing alongside side Tati Golykh for their production house Magic City Films who obtained the rights to Dean's image from his family.
Preproduction is set to commence on 17 November for a release on Remembrance Day next year.
Mark Roesler, CEO of CMG Worldwide, which represents Dean's family along with more than 1,700 famous figures said: "This opens up a whole new opportunity for many of our clients who are no longer with us."
The news has been met with widespread criticism however, with many questioning the ethics of the move.
Fun fact: James Dean won't be starring in this film because he's dead, someone will just be playing him with a CGI'd skin, and also there are cheaper ways to get to the uncanny valley if you really want to go therehttps://t.co/ofka6b0xvs— John Scalzi (@scalzi) November 6, 2019
When the "only person" who can play the part you've written has been dead for nearly 70 years, I'd suggest you find a new casting director before reanimating the corpse of James Dean. pic.twitter.com/RTqJ2TPvSo— 𝗔𝗶𝗱𝗮𝗻 𝗢’𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻 (@artimusfoul) November 6, 2019
#JamesDean the whole idea of bringing back actors who have passed away to "star" in movies is just weird and creepy to me.— Art Sacamano (@bluebandart) November 6, 2019
It isn't the first time an actor has been resurrected for a film role through the power of CGI after their death. Peter Cushing's image was recreated for his role of Grand Moff Tarkin in 2016 picture Rogue One.
The technology has also been brought in when actors have died before filming wrapped, such as Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and Brandon Lee in The Crow.