“If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live after he's died, then maybe he was a great man. Immortality is the only true success.”
- James Dean
Film makers, novelists, and pretty much most creatives have had a fascination with James Dean since, and even before, his untimely death. How could we ever put a finger on what it was exactly about him? He was beautiful and brash, masterful and misunderstood, genius and gutsy. But everything that he was, he was the original.
Anton Corbijn, the Dutch photographer, music-video director and film director, is set to direct the much-anticipated film, “Life” centred on the 1955 road trip that James Dean took with Life Magazine photographer and friend Dennis Stock, a mere few months before he died. Stock is credited to have taken some of the most iconic and memorable images of Dean.
Dane DeHaan, best known for his role in the series “In Treatment”, has been cast in the lead as Dean. He bears a striking resemblance to Dean as did his predecessor to play Dean in a film, James Franco also did. DeHaan is also hot news in Hollywood right now after being signed on to the next “Amazing Spider-Man” movie.
Robert Pattinson, made infamous by the “Twilight” movie franchise, has been cast to play the role of Dennis Stock, the photographer from Life Magazine, while Ben Kingsley (“Gandhi”, “Schindler’s List, “House of Sand and Fog”) has also been cast in the film. It hasn’t been released as to which role Kingsley will play yet but the Oscar-winner will certainly make the film one to watch.
Dean died in a near head-on collision in September, 1955 in his Porsche 550 Spyder. At the time, movie-goers only knew him for the film “East of Eden”, which also released in 1955, and the actor only became better known for “Rebel Without a Cause” when it was released a few months later. “East of Eden” had not been released yet when Stock received the assignment for Life Magazine to photograph the actor and on the journey from New York to Los Angeles and then Indiana, the two became friends.
The shooting for the film will commence within the next few months and the release date is yet to be estimated. But there are very high hopes for this film. There will never be another actor as iconic and legendary as James Dean, and even more so for him having achieved the very same immortality and greatness by still being relevant after his death that he spoke about.