Rumor: George Lucas To Digitally Reanimate Famous Dead Actors?

This is the sort of story that plays right into all the derision aimed at the George Lucas tendency to digitally revamp his own movies, and therefore seems like something you'd just chuckle over and shrug off as rumor-mongering. But then you see that it comes from a former Lucas collaborator: Mel Smith, who directed Radioland Murders. So there's a reason to at least read all the details.

His story is that George Lucas has "bought up the film rights to dead movie stars" in order to digitally dump them all in one movie. What's this all about? Find out after the break.

The Daily Mail (which initiates caution mode right off) quotes Mel Smith saying,

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.

But this is a guy who isn't at all favorable towards Mr. Lucas. He says in the same interview,

[Radioland Murders] was a disaster... 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.

The 'last two' Star Wars films? Is this interview from 2004? Or is Mel Smith just spouting off a bit? If I had to guess (and I do) I'd say the latter. I'd also say that his unveiled opinion of Lucas suggests that perhaps they're not in constant contact and that he might not be the best authority on this point. So treat this as an amusing story and little more. Expect an update with a blanket denial from LucasFilm within the hour. [via AICN]