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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK
Lucas attacks 'digital actors' idea
George Lucas
Lucas at Cannes: "Acting is a human endeavour"
Star Wars director George Lucas has attacked the idea of using technology to recreate dead film stars.

"It's something we are trying to stop happening, although you can't stop technology and you can't stop change," he said.

The director was at the Cannes film festival for the screening of his latest film, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of The Clones.

Marilyn Monroe
Could Marilyn be recreated?
Advances in digital technology have raised the prospect of long-dead stars like John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe being brought back to life on-screen.

The technology has already been used in less conspicuous ways.

When veteran British actor Oliver Reed died during filming of the Roman epic Gladiator, some scenes were digitally altered to make it look as if he was present.

Stunts

But Lucas said that, despite its occasional usefulness, the technique would lead to the "caricature" of famous film presences.

"A computer can duplicate Tom Hanks, for example, and we already use that technology a little for stunts and difficult scenes.

"But if you bring back Marilyn Monroe, what you would have is a caricature.

George Lucas
Lucas is himself a pioneer of digital special effects
"You could do it but you can't get a perfect actor.

"Acting is a human endeavour and the amount of talent and craft that goes into it is massive - and can a composite reproduce that?"

He added: "The voice would have to be dubbed and what was produced on screen would ultimately be the work of an animator."

The director was one of the first to make extensive use of digital technology when he used computer-generated special effects in the original Star Wars film in 1977.

But he said that recreating Hollywood greats would be a step too far.

"I can't see any reason to recreate John Wayne or Monroe.

"People don't want to see an imitation of someone who was a strong presence in real life," said Lucas.

See also:

14 May 02 | Film
Lucas feels the Force
15 Apr 02 | Film
The Lucas enigma
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