On November 6, it became known that Magic City Films bought the rights to use the appearance of James Dean, a cult American actor of the 50s who died at the age of 24 in a car accident.
They plan to recreate it in the film “In Search of Jack” directed by Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh about the Vietnam War. Dean will appear not as a cameo, but in a supporting role – he will play a certain soldier named Rogan. The character will be voiced by another actor.
When the news reached the media, industry participants met with hostility. The authors of the picture were condemned by Chris Evans, Elijah Wood and many others – including Zelda Williams, the daughter of Robin Williams. The latter bequeathed that no one could use his image in films for 25 years after death.
Dream as if you are immortal, die to be “resurrected” and used by intellectual inept movie makers after 60 years. (reference to famous actor quote -)
If the “only” person who could play the role you wrote died nearly seventy years ago, you should find another casting director before resurrecting the body of James Dean.
In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, one of the film’s directors, Anton Ernst, said that he was “upset” by the reaction to the news – because he had nothing to do with it.
We do not understand. We never intended to use Dean as a marketing ploy.
director “Finding Jack”
According to the director, the authors of the film casted for Rogan, but no one arranged them. As a result, they came to the conclusion that it was necessary to use Dean’s digital double – since Rogan is a “terrific and extremely complex character”, which only he could depict.
His relatives approved the request of the directors.
I think they would like their family member’s legacy to continue to live. This is what we tried to achieve. A whole generation of new viewers will learn about James Dean.
We will coordinate with his family every decision in order to preserve the memory of him. His relatives see “Finding Jack” as Dean’s fourth film. […] We are not going to let his fans down.
director “Finding Jack”
Also, according to Ernst, the script and the decision to use Dean’s appearance “received approval from many people in the film industry.” The director did not name specific names.
When asked about how the authors of the film are going to indicate Dean and all those involved in his role in the credits, the director answered that they have not yet decided this question.
Filming “In Search of Jack” will begin in late November. The film should be released on November 11, 2020 – on the American national holiday, Veterans Day.