NEWS: AS REPORTED IN MAIL ON SUNDAY TODAY : AUGUST 23RD 2015
As the grim-faced star of countless horror films including Dracula and Dr Frankenstein, Peter Cushing raised life from beyond the grave, But now the British actor, who died in 1994, will be raised from the dead himself.
Cushing, star of many Hammer House of Horror movies, will be digitally recreated in the new Star Wars spin-off Rogue One, which is being filmed at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire and is due to be released late next year.
In the original 1977 Star Wars, Cushing played evil Grand Moff Tarkin, commander of the Death Star and 'boss' of Darth Vader. In the new film Cushing, who died of prostate cancer aged 81, will be painstakingly brought back to life using the latest Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) techniques.
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. 'It is eerie to see someone who has been dead for so long come to life on a screen.'
CGI has been used before to complete movies when actors have died during production, including when Oliver Reed suffered a fatal heart attack while filming Russell Crowe's Gladiator in 1999.
Story: Caroline Graham for The Mail on Sunday