After James Dean, Worldwide XR plans to bring more legends back to the big screen
Despite a large amount of controversy, Variety reports that Worldwide XR, the team behind the upcoming Finding Jack film that will see legendary actor James Dean resurrected via CGI in the lead role, has plans to bring back a number of iconic actors and actresses. Which ones, you ask? Well, James Stewart, Bettie Page, Burt Reynolds, Andre the Giant, Maya Angelou, Lana Turner and Malcolm X, just to name a few. How, you may ask? Well, according to the trade, Worldwide XR owns the rights to all of those celebrities — and many more!
So, whether you agree with this approach or not … get ready to buckle up.
“Influencers will come and go, but legends will never die,” Worldwide XR CEO Travis Cloyd said in a statement before noting that while some people may not like the tactic, he promises to do his due diligence to make sure the potential partners do the celebrity justice.
“Worldwide XR wants to not only license celebrities’ likenesses, but also help creatives make use of existing assets as they look to transform them to digital humans. The way this is done depends on both individual projects as well as the recognizability of each celebrity,” explained Cloyd. “In some cases, creatives may rely solely on computer-generated imagery based on existing photos and films, while other projects may require combining existing assets with the work of look-alike actors.”
He also mentioned his big plans for James Dean, which he dubbed, “James Dean 2.0.”
Based on author Gareth Crocker’s novel of the same name, Finding Jack is set during the Vietnam War and is inspired by actual events when more than 10,000 military dogs were abandoned at the end of the War. It will tell the story of an unlikely friendship between a man and a yellow Labrador. The CGI James Dean will be playing the film’s secondary lead named Rogan with another actor set to voice the character.
The book’s official synopsis reads: “After losing his young family in a tragic accident, Fletcher Carson joins the flagging war effort in Vietnam. Deeply depressed, he plans to die in the war. But during one of his early missions, Fletcher rescues a critically wounded yellow Lab whom he nurses back to health and names Jack. As Fletcher and Jack patrol and survive the forests of Vietnam, Fletcher slowly regains the will to live.
At the end of the war, the U.S. Government announces that due to the cost of withdrawal, all U.S. dogs serving in the war have been declared “surplus military equipment” and will not be transported home. For the hundreds of dog handlers throughout Vietnam, whose dogs had saved countless lives, the news is greeted with shock and disbelief. For Fletcher, he knows that if he abandons Jack, then he too will be lost. Ordered to leave Jack behind, he refuses—and so begins their journey.”
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Finding Jack will be directed by Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh through their Magic City Films banners with Maria Sova writing the film’s screenplay. Ernst and Golyk also serve as producers along with Artistry Media Group’s Donald A. Barton.
Pick up a copy of the book here.
The film is eyeing for a worldwide release on November 11, 2020.