Earlier this week, we learned that directors Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh, having searched high and low in an audition process which surely spanned the entire globe, had ultimately decided to cast the very-deceased James Dean in their new movie, Finding Jack. They secured an agreement from the Dean estate (to use the actor's likeness), figured out how they'd make it happen (a combination of CGI, archival photos and an actor who'd perform Dean's voice), and then announced their plans at the American Film Market.
To say that the response to this development was "overwhelmingly negative" would sorta undersell the furor that arose: celebrities took to Twitter to express their displeasure with Ernst and Golykh's plan, and media coverage of the announcement (including our own) was not shy about pointing out how ghoulish this whole thing is. Inevitable? Sure. Gross? Most definitely.
Well, Aton Ernst has heard your complaints, and he is very dispirited. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the director expresses shock and dismay at the reaction to his big casting coup, saying:
"We don't really understand it. We never intended for this to be a marketing gimmick."
Oh, totally, man. For sure.
"We will take every precaution to ensure that his legacy as one of the most epic film stars to date is kept firmly intact. The family views this as his fourth movie, a movie he never got to make. We do not intend to let his fans down."
"Anyone that is brought back to life — you have to respect them.
I think the line should be ... you must always honor the deceased's wishes and try to act in a way that is honorable and full of dignity."
Yes, that's right: this casting choice, which was absolutely not made with the intention of drumming up a bunch of free publicity for a film project that would have been entirely unremarkable were it not for said casting decision, will be treating James Dean's resurrected likeness with all the dignity and respect you, the James Dean fans of the world, demand. So don't worry about that.
Nothing further to report at this time, but of course we'll be keeping an eye on this situation as it develops (if we were placing bets, we'd put $100 on this thing never getting made). Stay tuned.