From Paul Walker to Marlon Brando via Audrey Hepburn, Bruce Lee and his son Brandon, focus on 10 missing stars that technology has enabled to resuscitate on the screen.
Today, technology works wonders, allowing filmmakers and production companies to “resuscitate” missing stars. A posthumous return that is sometimes disturbing, either to complete the shooting of a film after the death of a protagonist, or as part of a simple tribute.
From Paul Walker to Marlon Brando via Audrey Hepburn and Brandon Lee, focus on 10 big names in cinema who have had a second life on the screen thanks to digital special effects. A list to discover above in which does not appear by Carrie Fisher, whose presence in the credits of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was made possible thanks to the use of unpublished images of The Force Awakens.
November 30, 2013 Paul walker tragically died in a car accident. The filming of the feature film Fast & Furious 7, in which he finds his character of Brian O’Conner, is then immediately interrupted. The actor had not yet shot important scenes at the time of the drama, there is even talk of simply canceling the project.
But director James Wan and Universal Studios take a strong decision, with the support of Walker’s relatives: to bring the actor back to life with digital special effects for the face (signed Weta Digital, the company created by Peter Jackson), the rest of the body being voiced by his brothers Caleb and Cody. The filming of FF7 can thus come to an end and the memory of Paul Walker be honored.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman died in early 2014, when he still had to shoot a few scenes from Hunger Games – The Revolt: Part 2, feature film in which he played the magistrate Plutarch Heavensbee, an essential character in the story’s outcome. Certain passages of the film are then rewritten, camera angles modified and slight digital special effects used, the director Francis Lawrence wishing to use the latter as little as possible.
“I regret to have done this for what is his last film”, declared the scenario writer in comments made to The Guardian. “Because frankly, there is not enough Philip Seymour Hoffman in the film. I wish his role was more important.”
When Oliver Reed died aged 61, he didn’t complete all of his scenes from the Gladiator peplum, where he played the character of the freed slave Proximo. To revive the British actor and bring the filming to its conclusion, the director Ridley Scott then resorts to a dubbing and digital special effects. Cost to the studio: over $ 3 million!
“What we did was modest compared to our other challenges on the film,” said John Nelson, visual effects supervisor for Gladiator. “What Olivier did was so much more incredible. He delivered an inspiring, moving performance. All we did was help him finish his job.”
In Rogue One, the spin-off of the intergalactic Star Wars saga released in theaters in 2016, one of the most astonishing moments is without a doubt the appearance on the screen of Peter Cushing, who died in 1994, who is reprising his role. from Grand Moff Tarkin held years ago in A New Hope and Revenge of the Sith. At the helm of this technological feat, we find, inevitably, the Industrial Light and Magic studios of George Lucas, which combined digital special effects and motion capture with the help of actor Guy Henry.
“We basically used computer graphics as a tool to change the appearance of Peter Cushing”, explained in 2016 John Knoll, special effects supervisor on Rogue One, at the Yahoo microphone. “And it was done in cooperation with his heirs. It wouldn’t have been done without their agreement or if they weren’t comfortable with the idea.”
Like his father Bruce, who will be found a little later in this file, it was during the shooting of one of his films, The Crow, that Brandon lee find death. The actor is killed with a live bullet when the weapon was supposed to be blank loaded.
To complete the filming of the film, Alex Proyas then uses an understudy (Chad Stahelski, the future director of the John Wick saga) on which he digitally embeds the face of the late actor. It should be noted that to bring Brandon Lee back to life, the Dream Quest company will have needed … 600 hours of work!
Disappeared in 1993, the legendary Audrey hepburn comes back to life twenty years later in an advertisement for Galaxy chocolate bars. At the controls of this technological tour de force revealing the 19-year-old star of Diamonds on the sofa, we find the Framestore studio, to which we owe in particular the special effects of Gravity.
This rather fascinating advertisement, visible here, introduces us to a young Audrey Hepburn traveling by bus in Italy. While the traffic stops the vehicle, she meets the gaze of a stranger behind the wheel of her convertible and decides to go and taste a Galaxy chocolate with her.
Another legend of the seventh art to have been resuscitated in an advertising spot: Bruce lee. The Asian star, who died in 1973 at the age of 32, comes back to life four decades later to praise the merits of Johnny Miller whiskey. Funny considering that the hero of The Fury to Conquer and Operation Dragon was notoriously known for not drinking a single drop of alcohol. The spot, quite impressive, is to discover here.
In 1978, the Superman led by Christopher Reeve was marked by the performance of Marlon brando in the role of Jor-El, the father of the superhero. A character that the legendary actor finds in 2006 in Superman Returns, that is … two years after his death!
To resuscitate Marlon Brando for the time of a cameo, the director Bryan Singer first requested the agreement of the actors’ rights holders. He then used unused footage of the Superman from 1978 and brought in the company Rhythm & Hues for the work on the digital effects. It should be noted that the French voice of this Brando returned from the dead is provided by Féodor Atkine.
In 2005, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was carried by a trio of stars made up of Jude Law Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. But the feature film SF is also the scene of an astonishing cameo with the furtive presence in the credits of the British actor Laurence Olivier, who died in 1989.
The legendary interpreter of Hamlet, through impressive digital special effects based on BBC archive footage, plays the villain character on screen Doctor Totenkopf. What makes the whole thing even more disturbing? Totenkopf is here represented in the form of a hologram.
Attention, the last page of this slideshow contains spoilers on a recent film and still showing! If you don’t want to know anything, don’t read on!
One of the highlights of the very recent Ghostbusters: The Legacy is undoubtedly the appearance on screen of the late Harold Ramis alongside his friends Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson. A successful moment, very moving, which allows us to find an ectoplasmic Egon Spengler and physically marked by the passage of time.
How did director Jason Reitman breathe life into the cult character played by Harold Ramis, who died in 2014? “We immediately contacted Harold Ramis’ family. I grew up with them and have known his daughter Violet since I was little,” he says simply into our microphone, obviously anxious not to reveal too much about it. technological details. “They were among the first to read the script, they came on the set, they were one of the first people to see a cut of the film. And this film is dedicated to Harold Ramis, because it’s a Spengler story. . “