James Dean ‘cast’ in Vietnam war drama – more than 60 years after his death

The iconic star of Rebel Without A Cause will be digitally resurrected for the role using CGI and existing footage

LOS ANGELES - 1955: Actor James Dean poses for a Warner Bros publicity shot for his film 'Rebel Without A Cause' in 1955 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

One of classic Hollywood’s most iconic actors is making a return to the silver screen – more than 60 years after he died.

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James Dean, the legendary star of Rebel Without A Cause and East of Eden, has been ‘cast’ in a new Vietnam war drama based on Gareth Crocker’s novel Finding Jack, despite dying aged 24 in 1955.

The film’s directors – Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh – have acquired the image rights to use the actor, creating a CGI version of Dean using pre-existing film and photographs.

The character’s voice will be provided by another actor, whose identity has not yet been announced.

According to reports, Dean will not be the leading man in the film, but nor is the role insignificant -with his character described as a secondary leading role.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Ernst said, “We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role … which has some extreme complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean.”

“We feel very honoured that his family supports us and 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.”

Dean won’t be the first actor in recent times to posthumously appear in a new film thanks to modern technology – Peter Cushing was famously digitally resurrected to reprise his role as Grand Moff Tarkin in 2015’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

However Dean’s casting does seem like something of a watershed moment – unlike Cushing, Dean’s CGI likeness will not be reprising a role that the actor had previously played in his lifetime.

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Dean only starred in three films while he was alive – Rebel Without A Cause, East of Eden and Giant.