Hey, it’s been a while since we’ve seen James Dean in a film, huh? That might be because he died in 1955, but weirdly, that hasn’t stopped him from being cast in the upcoming Vietnam War action-drama Finding Jack.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Dean estate has sold the rights to the late actor’s image to the production, and visual effects teams will use CGI and old footage to re-create what the filmmakers are calling “a realistic version of James Dean.”
So who are these filmmakers taking on the massive responsibility of giving Dean a posthumous performance? Directors Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh, who, no, you have definitely never heard of. Ernst has never directed a feature but did write and produce Eternity. Per IMDb, this is its synopsis: “Handsome young vampire Billy seems to have finally found his true love in Jenny Shapiro, a beautiful young woman he meets at a nightclub.” Golykh has likewise never directed a feature, but her IMDb entry reveals that she has looks that include “hot but deadly,” “sexy but also smart,” and… “Paula Abdul TV movie?“
“We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role of Rogan, which has some extreme complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean,” Ernst explained, as is a perfectly logical conclusion to reach. A filmmaker is only stifling their own creativity when they limit their options to just literally anyone who’s a living human being.
Based on a 2008 novel by Gareth Crocker, the story focuses on a journalist who heads to Vietnam fully planning to die there; instead, he finds renewed purpose in tending to a wounded Labrador. Dean’s computer-generated undead form will play not Crocker nor the dog but some secondary character that absolutely could not be played by anyone with a pulse.
At last, the rebel without a cause has found his cause: a terribly disrespectful gimmick.