This is one bit of good news that a lot of people are no doubt going to quibble over since the use of CGI to bring back dead actors is a debate that a lot of people are willing to take up largely because it would mean that we don’t have to lose some of our best and brightest on screen. The argument of course, and one that the MCU is using already, is that from a moral and reasonable standpoint the use of CGI to bring back deceased actors is an idea best left off of the back burner and well away from the stove. I’m in full agreement with Ryan Beltram of We Got This Covered, the actors of old had their day and they did their absolute best. In some cases it’s why we have the movies and actors we do now and why some people are willing to strive so hard to entertain the masses. If not for those early pioneers the people that exist now might not have had the same motivation to be this great, and the material that they’ve watched and learned from possibly wouldn’t have existed. But of course the argument is why not bring back those same individuals through technological means so that we don’t have to give them up. Well that’s simple, and it was already said, they had their day.
The stars of the past aren’t much different from the stars of today, they had their time in the sun just as the current actors of this era are doing, and when the sun went down they passed on and faded into cinematic history, or are still currently doing so. But the point is that they’ve been allowed to fade with grace for the most part, their legends not tarnished and worn by a continuous string of returns that might cheapen what they already did in the past. Think about it, some of the greatest actors on stage and screen have come and gone throughout the decades and their legends have been kept by those that adored them by remembering the greatness they exuded while doing what they loved. Now imagine those same individuals coming back and being given a lackluster performance, not even close to being worthy of what they did before. Those people willing to argue for the use of CGI to bring back some of the greats need to realize that they’re not really being brought back. CGI is still a poor substitute for the real thing and as a result any attempt to do so wouldn’t be nearly as authentic as it was when said stars were still alive.
There wouldn’t be the same passion, the same fire, or even the same acting since IT’S NOT THEM. Having a copy spit out out the lines and go through the motions isn’t the same thing, and it’s kind of an insult to their memory really no matter if the families of the stars sign off on it or not. By even thinking about replacing the old movie stars with CGI copies it almost feels as though the attempt is being made to convince us that there’s some value in this prospect, that it’s something we should be supporting if only because it means we can take the old with the new and make it into something wonderful. Why wouldn’t we after all? Why not take the chance to bring back legends that could possibly light up the screen again? Well, that’s still pretty simple, because it’s not them and it’s not their guidance and wisdom that would be coming through the machine to reach the people. That might sound like the talk of a purist that wants to keep everything the way it is and insure that the legacy that so many film stars have built up endures, and that’s not entirely inaccurate since a legacy is still an important thing to preserve and should be allowed to endure as long as possible. Such a practice as this however would eventually start to chip away at such legacies and would likely skew the way people continue to look at the old legends. Christian Schneider of USA Today has more to say on this matter.
Many people might not care since they’re old enough to remember those that CGI is looking to revive and can recall when they were great and just which movies they enjoy the most. But for future generations the idea of those that came before could be very different if this practice is allowed to happen. Thankfully it sounds as though the MCU won’t be getting in on this habit and will be keeping their actors up to date without dipping into the pool to fish out a few well-known faces that have passed on. It’s true that such a thing has already happened within the Mouse House during Rogue One, but at this time it sounds as though the MCU will not be taking on the same practice.