There is nothing new in using Digital Effects in movies. However, there have been times when CGI has turned out to be quite a path-breaking development for movies because it allowed filming of actors who were not even alive at the time of shooting. Directors and the technical experts often rely on CGI to give life to feature actors even after their death. Here we present to you, ten instances when actors were resurrected using CGI.
1. Brandon Lee
It is said that history repeats itself and there are times it repeats itself in a very cruel manner. Just like his father Bruce Lee who died young, Brandon Lee also died at a young age when he was accidentally shot during the filming of the 1994 comic book inspired film, The Crow. Brendon was later resurrected using digital technology.
2. John Candy
John Candy was only 43 when he died after a heart attack before wrapping up his last movie titled Wagons East! Since the film was near its ending, the director Peter Markle used every trick including script alteration and basic digital effects to cover the gap created by the hero’s death.
3. Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee is probably the most famous artist who died mysteriously at an age of 32. His death is subject of various myths, but, nobody knows what exactly happened. The maker of Scotch Whisky, Johnny Walker, did a deplorable and unexpected thing by creating him using CGI and retooled audio which gave the impression that Lee promoted their products. It becomes more outrageous because Lee never drank alcohol and if he was alive, he wouldn’t have done a commercial like that.
4. Philip Seymour Hoffman
Director Francis Lawrence tried a lot of things in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, to film a scene featuring Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, but, later admitted that it was impossible to digitally recreate the finesse of Hoffman’s acting. In any case, they used CGI to resurrect Hoffman.
5. Paul Walker
During the filming of Furious 7, Paul Walker died in a car crash. The maker James Wan relied on Digital effects to create an apt cinematic send-off for his friend and colleague. The late actor’s brothers Caleb and Cody, coordinated with the director as they had highly identical appearance to their sibling, and they filled in for him on set.
6. Peter Cushing
Despite his death in 1994, Peter Cushing was seen in the 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story where he played the villain Grand Moff Tarkin. It was all thanks to Digital Effects and a fantastic performance by impersonator Guy Henry. It was a top-of-the-line CGI resurrection of Cushing’s face.
7. Laurence Olivier
Director Kerry Conran’s belief resulted in Laurence playing a cameo in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Scavenging through the past footages and the audio clips of late-stage and movie actor, Conran and his visual effects experts temporarily featured Olivier into the movie as supervillain Doctor Totenkopf.
8. Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney
Back in 1991, Sir Elton John did Coca-Cola concert attended by a crowd including faces of dead movie legends Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney. While a section of people appreciated the CGI wizardry, there were others who were annoyed at seeing legends like Bogart and Cagney being manipulated for soda selling.
9. Nancy Marchand
In the iconic show The Sopranos, Nancy Marchand played the powerful mother of Tony Soprano, Livia, and the performance earned her a Golden Globe as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award. However, she died due to lung cancer before season 3, and since it was a bizarre end, the showrunner David Chase decided that a famous character like that deserved a proper closing. He spent about $250,000 from the show’s budget to create CGI needed to replicate her for a farewell scene.
10. Roy Scheider
Roy Scheider was an Oscar-nominated actor who died at 75 years of age, in 2008. His last movie Iron Cross was left incomplete since he died due to cancer. Fortunately, Scheider had filmed most of his scenes. All that they needed to cover up for Scheider was to film the required footage with a stand-in, who put on a latex mask augmented with CGI.