Nearly seven decades after his death, James Dean has been 'cast as the lead in a new, upcoming film'. he says the BBC:
A digital clone of the actor – created with artificial intelligence technology similar to that used to create deepfakes – will walk, talk and interact on screen with other actors in the film…
This is the second time that James Dean's digital clone has been proposed for a film. In 2019, it was announced that he would be resurrected in CGI for a film called Finding Jack, but it was later cancelled.
Travis Cloyd, managing director of media agency WorldwideXR (WXR), however confirmed to the BBC that James Dean will star in Back to Eden, a sci-fi film.
Dean's digital cloning represents a major shift in what is possible. Not only will he be able to play his screen-level AI avatar in Back to Eden, but also interact with the audience in interactive platforms such as augmented reality, virtual reality and gaming.
The technology goes far beyond passive digital reconstruction or deepfake technology that shows one person's face on another's body. Technicians achieve a kind of immortality that would otherwise be impossible, with careers that continue long after the actors' lives.
Of course, it raises some uncomfortable questions. Who owns the rights to someone's face, voice and personality after their death?
What control do they have over their careers after death – could an actor who made his name starring in dramas suddenly be forced to appear in a comedy or even a pornographic film?
Dean's image is one of hundreds represented by WRX and licensing company CMG Worldwide — including Amelia Earhart, Bettie Page, Malcolm X and Rosa Parks…