This is the latest to come down the Hollywood tech pipeline: George Lucas is buying “the film rights to dead actors”.
Considering his films set new standards for special effects, I’m certain it wouldn’t be too hard to revive these actors long after they pass away. All he needs is their posthumous permission.
There have already been some other films where dead actors have been revived with the help of computer graphics. In Superman Returns, Marlon Brando’s head is revived for some lines, and Sir Laurence Olivier has a few lines in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. In the last two examples, each actor was nothing more than a floating holographic head.
One of the best examples of reviving an actor to the prime of life is this new Tron Legacy film which has a young version of Jeff Bridges. I wonder if it would be possible to do an Indiana Jones film where Harrison Ford is thirty years younger?
Maybe that’s why George is doing this, to make up for The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. As it is, I don’t think that George Lucas has many good years left, so he might not outlive these actors that he is buying the rights to.
I haven’t heard anything about what actors are selling their celluloid selves, but I hope that there will be some sort of list available online soon.