By Chuck Woodbury
This is simply too bizarre for me to easily comprehend, about the legendary actor James Dean who died in a horrific car crash in 1955. The headline above must, at first, have you scratching your head. How can a dead person star in a new movie? The answer is CGI, Computer Graphics Imagery. A computer-generated version of Dean will appear as a secondary lead character in a television adaptation of Gareth Crocker’s novel “Finding Jack,” a story about the abandonment of more than 10,000 military dogs after the Vietnam War.
The movie is expected to be released on Veterans’s Day, 2020.
To recreate the late actor’s photorealistic likeness for the movie, a living actor will play Dean during filming. Artists will then use archival footage and photos of Dean to reconstruct his entire body. A different actor will voice the character, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Watch the video below to learn more.
Creating such a “deep fake” is not difficult to do these days. I will not be surprised to see new films coming soon starring Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, maybe even the late Christopher Reeve in a new Superman role.
This technology can be used for evil purposes, which worries a lot of people. Right before an election, for example, a deep fake of a candidate can be posted to appear so close to the real person that it’s almost impossible to tell it’s totally fake. What if that deep-faked candidate is speaking something so objectionable it gets passed along millions times on social media before people vote?
What if a deep fake shows the president of the United States announcing that he has just pushed the button sending nuclear missiles toward North Korea? It could take hours to determine if the video was real. How would North Korea react?
Here’s an example of a deep fake of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and others. Hard to tell they’re not real, isn’t it?
This is scary.