As far as the law is concerned licensing and deceased celebrities are usually represented by their estates who sell and license their images. Now it seems private Investors, independent filmmakers and Hollywood producers might soon be lining up to buy up the rights to use likenesses of deceased movie stars in their new films. Done properly, computer animators can change history on film. Imagine placing Bruce Lee finally playing the role he created as Kung Fu the Television series or Marilyn Monroe opposite Denzel Washington in a Torrid Romance. What about the return of the Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers opposite Gene Tierney or Ray Milland? Are we ready for a new Elvis musical, or another Bing Crosby White Christmas?
One thing is for sure when looking at the potential dollars to be made don't bet against it.
Currently "Lucasfilm has issued statements to the contrary". But, Savvy businessmen aren’t falling for it and soon there could be a mad rush by industry moguls to buy up rights (many remember when Walt Disney was buying up land in central Florida he denied it to the press to keep the prices down) Now the biggest money maker since dot coms could be dead celebrities!
One could argue that there is always room for improvement in storytelling and movies, and who is to say that using technology is automatically going to make it undesireable?
We are entering a new age where creating digital effects isn’t just pushing buttons – it is art and emotion created in a 21st century medium. In our comics video games we create completely believable humans that then become movie vehicles now the opposite is occuring and real people are becoming the computerized characters and although there will always be a need for actors, the actors of the past brought something undefinable to their performances. But soon (now, really) actors won't have to have a certain look, technology can make them look the way the director desires.
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