One of the trends these days that makes me the most uncomfortable is digitally-recreating celebrities for movies they’re unable to finish filming.
In every instance I’m aware of, it’s used when celebrities die unexpectedly before a project finishes filming, and it’s apparently being discussed for Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s scenes as Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in the second Mockingjay movie, the final film in the Hunger Games series. Now, I understand that movies need to make money, and that you can’t just scrap footage because it puts people out of work, but there must be a more respectful way to do this stuff, right? Instead of turning them into a hologram that will say the words we feed to it, like that’s all there ever was to his craft.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Phillip Seymour Hoffman had one more scene to film for his role when he was found dead in his home this past Sunday, but producers are optimistic about the future of the film. According to a source:
“They seem to have plans [to complete the film without Hoffman] that don’t seem very complicated. You can do digital things, you can have conversations where you’re not focusing on him but the people he’s talking to.”
Production began last September in Atlanta, with both installments being filmed simultaneously, and the rest of the film’s cast returned to set on Tuesday. This hasn’t been confirmed through Lionsgate representatives, but it’s rumored that Philip Seymour Hoffman had seven days of shooting remaining.
Again, I’m sure there’s lots of studio magic they can do to make sure no one can tell which scenes he was supposed to be there for and which he wasn’t, but is that really the point? I have no idea what the solution is, but the idea of digitally-recreating an extremely talented man who died of a very real addiction really just turns my stomach.