The Late James Dean Was Just Cast via CGI in a New Film, ‘Finding Jack.’ Here Are 35 Working Actors They Could Have Cast Instead.

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On Wednesday, news broke that famously not-living actor James Dean had been cast in an upcoming Vietnam film called Finding Jack. The actor, who died in 1955 at the age of 24 in a car crash, last appeared in Giant, released posthumously a year after his death. But, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “a realistic version of James Dean” will appear on-screen for the first time in 63 years:

Directed by Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh, the project comes from the filmmakers’ own recently launched production house Magic City Films, which obtained the rights to use Dean’s image from his family. Canadian VFX banner Imagine Engine will be working alongside South African VFX company MOI Worldwide to re-create what the filmmakers describe as “a realistic version of James Dean.”

“We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role of Rogan, which has some extreme complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean,” Ernst told THR. “We feel very honored that his family supports us and will take every precaution to ensure that his legacy as one of the most epic film stars to date is kept firmly intact. The family views this as his fourth movie, a movie he never got to make. We do not intend to let his fans down.”

It’s a bold casting decision to choose an actor who has been dead for six decades instead of literally any other currently living performer. Considering, from what we know right now, this doesn’t seem to be a movie that specifically requires James Dean’s likeness, what is it that makes him the perfect choice? The U.S. didn’t send troops to Vietnam until 10 years after Dean’s death, so it’s not like his image is essential to our collective cultural understanding of that era. CGI James Dean can’t bring any sort of time-specific nuances to such a role. Couldn’t another breathing actor be a significantly easier, cheaper, and less creepy casting decision? In fact, wouldn’t they technically be better since they’re A) human and B) don’t have the baggage of being compared to a beloved, late cultural icon? Since it seems Hollywood is struggling to find human talent, we put together a list of 35 living actors who are available to be cast in upcoming films:

Harry Styles

Timothee Chalamet

Iain Armitage

Ezra Miller

Tom Holland

Lucas Hedges

Maisie Williams

Cardi B

Finn Wolfhard

Sir Ian McKellen

Kristen Stewart

Zendaya

Robert Pattinson

Tilda Swinton

Noah Centtineo

Saoirse Ronan

Taika Waititi

H. John Benjamin’s Voice

Zac Efron

Andy Serkis (Non CGI)

Michael B Jordan

Awkwafina

Donald Glover

Jacob Tremblay

Devon Sawa

Shia LaBeouf

Blue Ivy Carter

Lana Condor

Cole Sprouse

Elsie Fisher

Post Malone

Harrison Ford

Millie Bobby Brown

Elijah Wood

Winston Duke

Culture Editor Matt is the Culture Editor at Esquire where he covers music, movies, books, and TV—with an emphasis on all things Star Wars, Marvel, and Game of Thrones.