George Lucas planning to resurrect dead movie stars with digital magic? Lucasfilm says no.

Mel Smith (who directed Radioland Murders) told British tabloid The Sun that George Lucas plans to breathe new life into stars of the past.

“George has been buying up the film rights to dead actors in the hope of using computer trickery to put them all together, so you’d have Orson Welles and Barbara Stanwyck alongside today’s stars.”

UPDATE: The quote is originally from an interview in The Daily Mail. Not sure that’s much better as far as reliability goes.

All I can say to this is: Wha? It’s not completely far-fetched, but my doubt circuits are fully engaged on this one.

UPDATE: And Lucasfilm has called bull. Spokesman Josh Kushins told Underwire that “this rumor is completely false.”

11 thoughts on “George Lucas planning to resurrect dead movie stars with digital magic? Lucasfilm says no.

  1. Josh

    As a British journalism student, I can tell you that anything in the Sun, paticularly entertainment news, is to be taken with a hefty grain of salt.

    It would be pretty tasteless if it is true… but, is it? As pointed out elsewhere, why would this guy know and no one else?

    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

    Reply
  2. jawajames

    or is it more to own their rights so that others would have to pay him to use those actors…

    we’ve already seen Laurence Olivier in Sky Captain on a limited level.

    i’m sure today’s actors relish the opportunity to compete for work with dead actors.

    Reply
  3. Aaron

    Is it really possible to buy a dead person’s likeness and personality rights? And if so, what the fudge!? When someone’s dead, they’re dead.
    Removing Sebastian Shaw from Return of the Jedi (not even mentioning removing his eyebrows) was bad enough, but this is even worse. I mean, just imagine the consequences: Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier in a Michael Bay film. Oh, the horror…
    (Between the two of them, it would probably be the best Michael Bay film ever, though… Hmmm… Hard not to be curious… :-D)

    Reply
  4. Fenchurch

    I could see where it might be getting close to really working, especially after watching one of the online specials about the making of “TRON Legacy.” They’re using CGI to create the face of a young Jeff Bridges over the face of modern Jeff Bridges. Very cool. Of course, in this case they have a “base” of the actual original actor to virtually cast onto.

    Reply
  5. Alex Johnson

    Whether its true or not, its a very interesting concept. We’ve already seen what could be considered the precursors to “resurrecting” dead actors onto the big screen, with both Jeff Bridges and Robin Wright being made to look younger then they actually are, in Tron Legacy and Beowulf respectively.

    It’d be really fun to watch someone like Charlie Chaplin play in the same movie as Matt Damon. Could you imagine?

    Also, the tech coud come in handy if there was ever an unexpected death on a movie set and the actor/actress needed to be replaced or became too old to continue playing their role.

    Reply
  6. Cy

    I’m not sure I like the idea of Lucas buying the rights to my dead face (if I become a famous actor, that is.) XD

    But I thought of him immediately when I heard the technique had been made viable in Tron.

    Reply
  7. Josh

    I’m willing to bet the “Lucas using dead actors” rumour gets far more mileage on the internet than the “this isn’t happening at all” rebuttal…

    Reply

Leave a Reply