The move to cast a CGI James Dean in a new Vietnam war movie upset some Hollywood stars, but there are plans to digitally recreate other famous actors and celebrities too.
Variety report today that intellectual property licensing specialist CMG Worldwide has partnered with immersive content creation studio Observe Media to form Worldwide XR, a new company that plans to insert digital humans into films along with augmented and virtual reality.
According to Variety, Worldwide XR has obtained and represents the rights for more than 400 celebrities, athletes and sports teams. Along with James Dean, creators will also be able to recreate stars like Bettie Page, Burt Reynolds and Andre The Giant, sports legends like Lou Gehrig, and artists like Maya Angelou.
Worldwide XR CEO Travis Cloyd told Variety: "Influencers will come and go, but legends will never die."
Worldwide XR want to licence celebrities' likenesses and also help creatives utilise existing assets as they look to transform them to digital humans.
Cloyd explained the ways in which this can be done will vary depending on on both individual projects and the recognisability of each celebrity.
In some instances, creatives may use computer-generated imagery based on existing photos and films, but other cases may see them combine existing assets with look-alike actors.
News last week that the upcoming Vietnam War film Finding Jack would feature a digitally recreated James Dean, was met with criticism from some current Hollywood stars.
Chris Evans slammed the concept as "awful" with Zelda Williams, Elijah Wood and Dylan Sprouse also voicing their disapproval.
Cloyd acknowledged the concept has drawn criticism but insists his company would do their best to ensure celebrities are portrayed respectfully.
"It's disruptive. Some people dislike it," he said. "We will do our due diligence."
Cloyd is most excited about the potential to insert celebrities in augmented and virtual reality, where they could potentially directly interact with viewers.
He also hinted Dean could appear in other roles beyond Finding Jack.
"There is a lot more to come for James Dean," he said. "Think of it as James Dean 2.0."