Dead Isn’t Dead in Hollywood…


For Hollywood stars, death might not be the end of their career. In the last couple of years movies have remastered deceased actors and actresses but, can they do that? What are the laws behind using someone’s image and voice after they’ve been long gone?

Perhaps you’ve seen Star Wars: Rouge One.  Or maybe you watched the original film The Crow.  In both these films, the likeness of actors who were deceased (in one case for several years and the other for just several weeks) were used after their deaths.  Even concerts are using holographic technology and past recordings to put on shows using deceased musicians (with Tupac and Michael Jackson being famous and somewhat recent examples of this technique).

As digital manipulation technologies improve, so does the entertainment industry’s ability to use a performer’s likeness after his or her death.  In some instances, the performer designated ownership of the rights to family members or their estates.  In other cases, no clear guidance has been provided as to how their likeness may be used after a performer has passed away.


1)  What do you think about companies using people’s likeness after they have deceased?

2) Why should their or shouldn’t there be laws requiring ‘designated consent’ before these methods are employed (meaning there needs to be laws that require a person to agree to their image being used if they die, and that no more projects like the ones in the story could happen until such laws were created to restrict that practice)?

3) What if movie studios start requiring performers to authorize use of their likeness after death – should there be limits to what requirements can be included in a performer’s contract?

Be sure to provide full explanations for your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here: