15 Times Actors Posthumously Starred In A Movie

15 Times Actors Posthumously Starred In A Movie

Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures

Just because a beloved celebrity is dead… doesn't mean they should be deprived of the opportunity to star in a blockbuster movie, or a keystone moment of prestige TV, or a commercial they'll never benefit from monetarily.

Oh, you disagree? So you're saying Marlon Brando shouldn't have been able to appear in Superman Returns? Just because he hadn't acted, or been alive, in years? You're telling me that Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and Louis Armstrong don't deserve to appear together in an ad for Diet Coke? Because they're “dead?” Because they “didn't agree to do that?” Because they “probably wouldn't have given permission to digitally exhume their corpses, if they could even wrap their minds around the idea that that technology might one day exist?”

You expect me to believe… that Aubrey freaking Hepburn… might object to a chocolate company casting multiple people who kind of look like her… 3-D scanning their faces… and Frankensteining them together to make a somewhat passable replica of her face?

Well buddy, I suppose there's just no common ground for us to find.

Carrie Fisher in 'The Rise of Skywalker'

CRACKED Old footage of Carrie Fisher was used for The Rise of Skywalker. The team at ILM had to incorporate Fisher into TROS after her death in 2016. They did this by piecing together unused footage from The Force Awakens. The challenge was to make sure her performance came across as authentic.



Roy Scheider in 'Iron Cross'

CRACKED With Roy Scheider's death, the production team had to get creative to finish his last movie. After the death of Scheider, those working on his final project, Iron Cross, were left with a big problem. The film had not yet been completed, and a crucial scene had not yet been filmed. Thanks to computer- generated imagery and prosthetic latex masks made to look like Scheider, they were able to complete the movie.

BBE Productions

The Guardian

Harold Ramis in 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife'

CRACKED Old footage and concept art were used to bring back Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. MPC Film gathered reference material and scans of old footage, focusing on key angles and expressions. They also studied concept art of an aged Egon, supplied by the filmmakers. With all of this information, MPC was able to create a convincing likeness of Ramis that honored his memory.

Columbia Pictures


Laurence Olivier in 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow'

CRACKED Laurence Olivier was resurrected for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. The filmmakers used archival film footage and fresh soundtrack dialogue to create a scene where Olivier speaks lines he never spoke and makes gestures he never made.

Paramount Pictures

Motion Capture Society

Bruce Lee in 'The Game of Death'

CRACKED Bruce Lee's death left Golden Harvest scrambling. When Lee died from a cerebral edema, production company Golden Harvest pieced together unused footage and shots of lookalikes to create The Game of Death. Director Robert Clouse reused scenes from other Lee movies, and even shot a cardboard cutout of the actor.

Golden Harvest

Mental Floss

Oliver Reed in 'Gladiator'

CRACKED Oliver Reed's death caused problems with Gladiator. Reed, who struggled with alcoholism, had promised director Ridley Scott that he wouldn't drink during filming, but instead only drank on weekends. When he passed out and died in a bar, they used digital images of his face to finish his scenes.

DreamWorks, Universal Pictures


Peter Cushing in 'Rogue One'

CRACKED Peter Cushing is in Rogue One as a digital version of Grand Moff Tarkin. John Knoll, the film's visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer for ILM, says they used actor Guy Henry as a digital stand-in and employed motion-capture and a facial-expression tracker to animate footage and photographs of Cushing.


The Guardian

Brandon Lee in 'The Crow'

CRACKED The Crow was completed with CGI and body doubles of Brandon Lee. After Lee tragically died during filming, creator James O'Barr was guilt-ridden and devastated, as he had personally hand- picked him. Work on the film continued by using body doubles and CGI until it was completed according to O'Barr's vision.

Miramax Films


Marlon Brando in 'Superman Returns'

CRACKED Superman Returns used old footage of Marlon Brando. The screenwriters wanted to establish a connection between the movie and the original 1978 film, so they decided to bring back Brando. They contacted his estate and were given access to hours of unused footage and recordings.

Warner Bros.


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