If you saw the magnificent ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (Huzzah to you, Gareth Edwards!) this past weekend, and I’m confident you all did—odds might allow that two or three who DIDN’T see it could chance upon this article, but those odds are low—then you saw Peter Cushing’s triumphant return to the silver screen as Grand Moff Tarken. Recreated via CGI technology, the results were scary real. No one watching the film, who didn’t know Cushing and didn’t know he was no longer with us, would ever be able to tell the difference. It was amazing to see.
Since it’s called show BUSINESS, the new technology allowing moviemakers to resurrect deceased performers for contemporary projects involves all kindsa financial entanglements. There are laws on the books now to regulate such things; these came about as a result of the family of Bela Lugosi seeking royalties on Universal’s continued usage of Bela’s likeness as Count Dracula. (Courts sadly ruled that Universal owned the rights to Bela’s depiction of Dracula with no requirement made for further financial compensation to his heirs.) All those legal matters are interesting and all—alright, no they aren’t—but what I really want to know is, when are they going to use the technology to put Bela in the 1931 Spanish version of DRACULA and thus create the perfect Dracula film?