Today in ‘Thanks, I hate it’ news, the company that plans to digitally resurrect the late James Dean for a mega-cheesy sounding sad war dog movie are now ready to do the same with other celebrities! Intellectual property licensing specialist CMG Worldwide has merged with immersive content creation studio Observe Media to form Worldwide XR and they plan to bring digital humans to film and virtual reality. Aren’t you excited? Or just exhausted by how this whole mess continues to get even more ghoulish? Sarah Marrs and I discussed this in the latest episode of our podcast, The Hollywood Read, and spent a lot of time just unable to get over how tone-deaf and creepy this whole scam feels.
Worldwide XR current holds and represents the rights to over 400 celebrities. That roster includes Maya Angelou, Aaliyah, Bettie Page, Malcolm X, Lou Gehrig, and Josephine Baker. Worldwide XR CEO Travis Cloyd said in a highly ‘How do you do, fellow kids’ style statement, ‘Influencers will come and go, but legends will never die.’ How delightful. I preferred it when we were promised heads in jars like Futurama.
This process is tough and pricey and may rely on not just computer-generated imagery but look-alike and sound-alike actors. I can’t wait to see the SAG bylaws on that one.
So, you better watch out. It’s only a matter of time before we see Malcolm X selling trainers or Bettie Page brought back to do a musical number for The Greatest Showman 2 or James Dean becomes a spokesman for Porsche despite that being the brand of car he died in OH F*CKING WAIT, THAT ALREADY HAPPENED!
I never thought the AI apocalypse would be so A-List.