7 Actors You Didn’t Know Were Brought Back Thanks To CGI

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7 Actors You Didn’t Know Were Brought Back Thanks To CGI

Hollywood is able to bring back dead performers for cameos in movies, television episodes, and even ads, even though the actors have passed away. The use of computer-generated imagery (CGI), special effects, and innovative editing techniques have allowed for the occasional appearance on film of stars who have since passed away. The following seven actors have been brought back to life thanks to computer graphics:

1. Bruce Lee

Johnnie Walker, maker of the Blue Label whisky, digitally resurrected Bruce Lee for a commercial more than 40 years after the martial artist’s death. Although the outcomes were mind-blowing, fan reaction was mixed.

Though the CGI used to resurrect Lee was praised by many, the commercial as a whole was panned by viewers and critics alike. Not to mention, Lee himself was an alcoholic abstainer. Perhaps a more suitable artist for the commercial would have been Amy Winehouse or Bon Scott.

2. Peter Cushing

Those who have followed the Star Wars saga since its inception may be surprised to learn that Peter Cushing has appeared in subsequent films. Even though he had been dead for over two decades, the actor returned to the franchise when Disney planned to film the spin-off movie Rogue One.

For this production, actor Guy Henry acted as Cushing’s body double while computer graphics technology brought back his visage. Immediately, discussions about the ethical implications of these actions arose. The Cushing family did, however, give their blessing for Lucasfilm to use Cushing’s likeness in the picture.

3. Carrie Fisher

Princess Leia Organa was one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars franchise, so it was tough for loyal fans to accept that Carrie Fisher, who played the role in the films, had passed away three years prior, from a cardiac arrest.

J.J. Abrams confirmed Princess Leia’s appearance in the film in July 2018, saying that the scenes shot for The Force Awakens but cut were going to be used to wrap up Leia’s story. This heartwarming moment was made possible because Billie Lourd, her daughter, gave Disney permission to use the footage in the film.

4. Oliver Reed

When actor Oliver Reed tragically passed away from alcohol poisoning during a break during filming of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, the production hit a snag. The rest of his scenes were shot with a digitally created version of his face that was mapped onto a body double.

In light of the fact that CGI technology was still in its infancy in the early 2000s, the outcomes were strikingly convincing. In addition, those sequences cost $3.2 million to produce. Reed’s final film, Gladiator, is dedicated to his memory.

5. Marlon Brando

Superman Returns, the third film in the Superman film series and the sequel to 1978’s Superman and 1987’s Superman II, marked the hero’s triumphant return to the big screen after an absence of 19 years. Hollywood legend Marlon Brando surprised audiences by returning to the big screen, joining the likes of the Man of Steel.

Although he played Superman’s Kryptonian father Jor-El in the 1978 film, the actor who played him died two years before the film was released. A brief cameo appearance by the figure in the Fortress of Solitude was made possible by using deleted scenes from the original film. Even though it was only a brief sequence, it served as a suitable farewell for Brando.

6. Brandon Lee

In The Crow, Brandon Lee, who played Eric Draven, also meets his demise off-screen. Lee was shot by his co-star Michael Massee with a real bullet from a prop gun, and the studio was at fault.

Lucky for us, Lee had already shot most of the scenes, and his family strongly urged Alex Proyas to see the project through to the end. The rest of the actor’s scenes were performed by CGI characters or body doubles. All of the results are so lifelike that it’s difficult to tell in which scenes Lee actually appears.

7. Paul Walker

Even though Paul Walker’s last appearance in the Fast and the Furious franchise was in the seventh film, he is still missed in the sequels. His case is the most notable of any deceased actor appearing in a film using CGI.

Following his untimely demise in a car crash, the remaining 350 shots starring Walker were completed using CGI. His brothers Caleb and Cody also acted as stand-ins. The final scene involving Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, is obviously a CGI creation, but it is nonetheless a moving tribute.