Report: A CGI James Dean to 'Act' in Vietnam Drama 'Finding Jack'

Wednesday November 6, 2019

James Dean, who died in 1955 at the age of 24, will appear in an upcoming action-drama film about the Vietnam War — as a computer-generated image, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, which says he will apparently be "acting" in the movie.

The C.G.I. version of the "Rebel Without a Cause" star will appear in the film "Finding Jack." Real footage and photos of the late actor will be used to create the C.G.I. Dean, who will play a character named Rogan, which is considered a secondary lead role. Another actor will voice the part.

The film is based on the novel by Gareth Crocker and is based on the existence and abandonment of more than 10,000 military dogs at the end of the Vietnam War.

"Finding Jack" is directed by Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh and their production company obtained the rights to Dean's image from his family, according to THR. Canadian VFX banner Imagine Engine will work with South African VFX company MOI Worldwide to re-create Dean. The filmmakers describe as "a realistic version of James Dean."

"We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role of Rogan, which has some extremely complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean," Ernst told THR. "We feel very honored 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."

THR reports "Finding Jack" will be live-action but Dean's performance will be constructed via "full body" C.G.I.

The film goes into production on Nov. 17 and will be scheduled to hit theaters on Veterans Day 2020.

Dean became a cultural icon and became the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his role in "Rebel Without a Cause." He died at 24 years old in 1955 after being involved in a car crash.

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