The Show Must Go on; Actors Dying Doesn't Stop Movie Makers

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), April 6, 2009 | Go to article overview
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The Show Must Go on; Actors Dying Doesn't Stop Movie Makers


Byline: Laura Coventry

JAWS star Roy Scheider died while filming Iron Cross last year, however the director has used a latex mask of his face in order to film the last vital scenes.

The prosthetic mask, along with state-of-the-art computer-generated imagery, meant the actor could be reincarnated for filming the remainder of the movie.

Bringing actors back to life and seeing them star in movies sounds a bit macabre, but when there's a lot of money riding on the film, often the death of the main star doesn't hold up proceedings.

Here we look at the other posthumous movies and how directors have used special effects and other tricks of the trade to ensure the movie reaches the big screen - no matter what.

JOHN CANDY

The funnyman died of a massive heart attack in 1994 during the filming of Wagons East. As only two-thirds of his scenes had been completed, a body double was used to replace Candy and for the first time in history, computergenerated imagery (CGI) was used. The film was released later that year.

ROY KINNEAR

The English comedy actor died of a heart attack the day after falling from a horse during the making of The Return of the Three Musketeers in Spain in September 1989. Filming was nearly complete when he died.

Following his death, director Richard Lester quit his career in the film industry.

AALIYAH

The R'n'B singer-turned-actor had completed her final scenes for 2002 movie Queen of the Damned when she was killed in a plane crash.

However, some of her lines - in which she spoke in an Egyptian accent - had to be re-dubbed, so her brother Rashad stepped in to deliver her lines for producers, who blended it with his late sister's original lines.

Aaliyah starred as the lead role Queen Atasha in the movie, which was an adaptation of Anne Rice's third novel The Vampire Chronicles. It was released six months later.

JAMES DEAN

Scenes starring the iconic Fifties film star had to be re-recorded after he was killed in a car accident in 1955.

The Rebel Without a Cause legend had just completed filming the movie Giant. However, his last scene had to be re-recorded and dubbed as his lines were badly garbled when he delivered his drunken speech. The scene was re-shot using his co-stars and doesn't actually feature Dean at all.

NATALIE WOOD

While making the 1981 sci-fi film Brainstorm, actress NatalieWood died in a drowning tragedy off the coast of California.

With a stand-in and the use of clever camera angles, the crucial end scenes were completed and the film was released two years later, but the star on screen did not correspond with the star on Brainstorm's publicity material.

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The Show Must Go on; Actors Dying Doesn't Stop Movie Makers
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