The Immortal Actor

 In VFX

Phillip Seymour Hoffman was one of the greatest actors of his generation, and his death came too early for such an extraordinary talent.

Hoffman passed away just before wrapping up filming for the final Hunger Games movies, and the good folks at Lionsgate were now stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Do they cut out Hoffman’s character completely?  Technology has come far enough along that it is now actually cheaper to digitally re-create his likeness for the remaining scenes than to rewrite the script.

This isn’t the first time an actor/entertainer has been recreated post-mortem.  Oliver Reed was digitally recreated for a few scenes in Gladiator after suffering a heart attack before production was completed.

 

 

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Digital Domain famously brought back Tupac Shakir to perform on stage with Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre

 

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I suppose you could pretty much bring back anybody at this point really.  What’s to stop studio’s from bringing back John Wayne for a western remake?

It’s not an outlandish thought that Clint Eastwood would create a digitally younger version of himself and launch a few Dirty Harry sequels.  Imagine a young Clint Eastwood directed by old Clint Eastwood!?  Why not?  Jeff Bridges did it in Tron Legacy, Bruce Willis tried it out in Surrogates, and we can’t forget about Brad Pitt in David Fincher’s masterpiece.

There have been recent claims that Paul Walker will also be re-created for a few final scenes in his Fast & Furious sequel.

But no matter how great technology is, nothing can replace the nuances and unpredictable opportunities presented by an actor ‘in the moment.’  That’s something that no amount of technology will every be able to replicate.

What are your thoughts?  Who would you bring back, and what movie/sequel would you like to see?

 

 

SeanB
Caribbean Filmmaker and co-founder of Whirlybird Productions.
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