The Hollywood production company Magic City Films has secured the intellectual property rights (‘IP rights’) from James Dean’s estate. In 1955, the actor died in a car accident, but he still received awards after his death. His most notable film role was the character Jim Stark in the film ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. This cemented the image of James Dean as a rebellious youth that went against the grain of 1950s society. There is a coolness associated with the actor that still seems to appeal to youths regardless of their generation.
Magic City Films are planning to place the actor back on the screen using CGI, photographs and videos in order to recreate his likeness and cast him in this movie. However, some fans and other celebrities have expressed concerns over the use of James Dean’s image. Nevertheless, Magic City Films have stated that they tried to find another actor to play James Dean, but it was not successful.
The acquiring of IP rights for dead celebrities is something that has become more common in the last decade. As iconic celebrities such as Whitney, Prince and Michael Jackson are now dead, this is seen as less taboo and a viable way for their estates to gain revenue to cover financial costs.