Movie stars under threat from CGI?


I just saw this video:

I’m talking about no. 16!

…especially the statement at 16:25!!


I don’t see it as being under threat, tbh. I see it as yet another way for actors to stay viable well past their “sell by” date.

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that, as an action hero, your days are numbered. After a certain aga, the spirit may be willing, but the body might not be able. Charles Bronson was close to 73 when he made “Death Wish 5” and it was just sad. Still, being one of his most famous characters, he did what he had to do to get paid.

Just imagine if, as an actor, you could find a way for your image and most famous characters to live on. Imagine raking in the checks just because you were you. Cha-ching! Not a bad way to earn a living if you can.

To me, this isn’t a crisis. It’s an opportunity. The actors aren’t in any danger simply because they have rights to their likeness. Thank Crispin Glover for that.

In 1989’s “Back to the Future II,” Universal Studios used a stand in actor wearing prosthetic makeup to look like an older George McFly. Glover sued, saying that they effectively tried to pass off this other guy as him to audiences without due compensation. He was right. Universal lost the lawsuit. The Screen Actor’s guild had to change their rules.

Now, unless you get the actor’s permission, their likeness cannot be used. It’s protected. This is why, as a CG artist, it’s always kinda dicey to build models based on actors or personalities - especially if you’re aiming to sell the model itself or the final image.

Likeness renders are generally okay and tolerated as long as you don’t make a profit though. Just be aware that, technically speaking, you’re still not in the legal right. If an actor got pissy, which is super unlikely, they could make an issue out of it. (Kinda like how some gamedevs make for-free Mario or Zelda sequels only to have them yanked due to C&D letters or DMCA notices from Nintendo.)

So, yeah. There’s no danger in making actors extinct. If anything, this will let them live on for longer. Think about how, in “Terminator Genisys”, they brought a younger 1984 Schwarzenegger to life to face his then 68 year old counterpart. Kinda cool. Now imagine extending that to a full movie and with tomorrow’s tech. Could be amazing if done right.

The real bitch here is in that little thing called the “Uncanny Valley.” That’ll be less of an issue as time goes on though. No worries. The future looks bright even for old (or dead) action heroes.