Last week, news broke that James Dean will star in a new movie—64 years after his death. A production company called Magic City got the rights to Dean’s image from the late actor’s estate and plans to bring him to the silver screen again thanks to the wonder (or terror) of CGI. Now, Dean, or the digitally resurrected version of Dean or whatever, will play the second lead in a Vietnam War movie called Finding Jack, with a living actor standing in as his voice.
Unsurprisingly, the announcement inspired a wave of immediate backlash around Hollywood. Chris Evans called it “awful” and “shameful,” and Elijah Wood said, simply, “NOPE.” But it turns out the intense reaction was surprising to at least one person: Magic City’s Anton Ernst, the Finding Jack director.
Ernst told the Hollywood Reporter in a new interview that he’s gotten “positive feedback” about the movie and that the Dean estate has been “supportive,” saying it will inspire “a whole new generation of filmgoers to be aware of James Dean.” He didn’t see the overwhelming negativity coming. Per the Reporter: