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Equity ARC 2017: Actors could veto use of their likeness from beyond the grave

Laurence Olivier in The Entertainer in 1957 Laurence Olivier in The Entertainer in 1957
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Equity is to explore how actors can protect their image after death.

A motion at the union’s Annual Representative Conference in London urged the union to look into the use of computer-generated performances of deceased actors.

David Richey, who proposed the motion, cited the digital reconstruction of Peter Cushing’s face in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story last year.

Cushing, who appeared in the original Star Wars film in 1977, died in 1994. The use of his likeness was approved by his estate.

However, the use of technology to resurrect deceased actors has been possible for several years. In 2004, Laurence Olivier’s face and voice were digitally recreated for the film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Although the phenomenon is less common in live performance, at a concert in 2012 hologram technology was responsible for the resurrection of rapper Tupac Shakur.

Richey suggested the introduction of a clause in contracts allowing actors to consent to or forbid the use of their image post-mortem.

The motion was unanimously passed.

Full coverage of Equity ARC 2017

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