Fully recreating dead actors digitally has been a long time coming for a major role, and a project I remain dubious of. But if you’re going to do it, it’s probably best done with endless Disney dollars and the experienced team at Industrial Light & Magic. So it’s no big surprise that the standalone Star Wars movie, Rogue One, will feature a digitally resurrected Peter Cushing back in the role of Death Star boss Grand Moff Tarkin.
But there’s one tiny extra problem in creating a digital Tarkin:
A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This is one of the most complex and costly CGI re-creations ever. Cushing is a pivotal plot line as he was the one to create Darth Vader and there’s a whole back story that will come out.’
But the film-makers face one particularly tough task – creating Cushing’s legs and feet.
When director George Lucas filmed the original Star Wars, he gave Cushing and other Galactic Imperial officers ill-fitting leather riding boots. Cushing complained so bitterly that Lucas let him wear slippers, forcing cameramen to shoot from the knees up or have him stand behind the Death Star conference table.
‘They are going through hours and hours of old footage from the horror movies to recreate his legs and feet to produce realistic movements,’ said the source.
If they manage to pull this off well enough to bridge the uncanny valley, it will be a great chance to get to better know the man who held Vader’s leash.