VARIETY DECEMBER 16TH 2016
When audiences flock to multiplexes this weekend to see Gareth Edwards’ “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” they’re in for a blast from the past.
The film, which takes place just before the events of George Lucas’ 1977 original installment, brings actor Peter Cushing back to cinematic life through the use of state-of-the-art visual effects wizardry to reprise the role of Grand Moff Tarkin. A British actor — Guy Henry, star of BBC series “Holby City” — was employed to portray the character physically on set, while in post-production, his work was replaced with a rather impressive Cushing performance by the artists of Industrial Light & Magic.
Despite the flap from several quarters, it was pretty obvious that all the 'I's' and 'T's' had been dotted and crossed for the likeness of Peter Cushing as Tarkin to be used in #ROGUEONE, long before a pixel had been drawn. As for the coughing up the 'cash' for such use, you can bet your last Wupipi and Druggat, it went to the estate of Peter Cushing...and good for them, I say. Meanwhile, here's a great interview with Joyce Broughton talking about her time with Peter throughout his career..even until the very end.. enjoy 😉
It was so impressive, in fact, that Cushing’s former secretary — Joyce Broughton, who oversees his estate and attended the film’s London premiere with her grandchildren — was taken aback emotionally when she saw the creation on screen.
“When you’re with somebody for 35 years, what do you expect?” Broughton says. “I can’t say any more because I get very upset about it. He was the most beautiful man. He had his own private way of living.”
Broughton, who was bequeathed Cushing’s estate when he died without an heir in 1994, was reticent to go into details about the situation due to a confidentiality agreement she signed with Disney and Lucasfilm. But despite the emotions, she said she was dazzled by the experience of the new film.
“I have to say, I’m not a ‘Star Wars’ fanatic, but I did think whoever put it together were absolutely fantastic,” she says. “It’s not just a silly sort of thing. It’s really good!”
Cushing’s digital resurrection was first reported in August of 2015. A Lucasfilm rep tells Variety that the filmmakers will not be discussing the nuts and bolts of what went into the actor’s reprise until January, in order for audiences to see the film and enjoy it without being spoiled by those details. But the implications raised by the bold achievement, and others like it, are another thing entirely — and they’ve been ringing throughout the industry for decades.
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