Update: A rep for LucasFilm has called reports a "false rumor."
Talk about one of the most loaded, tossed off comments in a while. But leave it to Brit actor/director Mel Smith to cause collective cinephile brains to explode at the prospect of George Lucas' supposed new plan to digitally rape cinematic history.
In an interview with the Daily Mail (via AICN), Smith casually revealed, "He’s been buying up the film rights to dead movie stars in the hope of using computer trickery to put them all together in a movie, so you’d have Orson Welles and Barbara Stanwyck appear alongside today’s stars." Good God. Why interviewer John McEntee didn't ask any more questions is beyond us but in no one way, shape or form does this sound like a remotely good idea. But considering Lucas would CGI the shit out of everything if possible, his toying with the idea of digitally recreating actors seems to make some kind of morbid sense.
Smith didn't stop there. He also revealed that Lucas, who came up with the story and produced the 1994 misfire "Radioland Murders," has no concept of comedy (shock!). "The film was a disaster," says Smith. "George doesn’t understand comedy, so the movie flopped. At least it taught me how to use CGI. George is obsessed with it and used too much in the last two 'Star Wars' films — which I thought were ghastly." No word on what Smith found redeemable about the first of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy but we hope it wasn't Jar Jar Binks, because if anyone needed clearer evidence that Lucas wouldn't know funny if it walked up and hit him in the head, that's it.
We're not quite sure what actors' estates selling off the rights to the likenesses of their deceased benefactors is all about, but it's a ridiculously awful idea. Do we really have to spell it out? Watching a digital (and knowing Lucas, probably 3D) Humphrey Bogart "acting" alongside the likes of, say, Channing Tatum makes our brains hurt. And if any of these people start making digital cameos in Star Wars Episode 192 alongside Boba Fett's grandson or some shit, we will positively freak. Someone please stop George Lucas.