On Jan. 26, 1997, many homes across America were tuned-in to Super Bowl XXXI. While much of the game itself may be a blur, most people who watched that night likely remember one image: Hollywood legend Fred Astaire, who had died nearly a decade before, dancing with an electric broom in a vacuum commercial. While many people were fixated on how the ad was created, some – including some members of Astaire’s family – took issue with bringing the legendary performer “back from the dead.”

Now 20 years later, a new film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, puts a new spin on the debate in part because, unlike the brief appearance of Astaire in the vacuum ad, the new Star Wars film demonstrates that deceased actors can return to the screen forever.

But what are the legal ramifications to these posthumous performances, and how are today’s actors prepping for this future?

Join us for this edition of the Legal Current podcast, where we are joined by Brad Cohen, partner with Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell in Los Angeles, where we break this down.

And be warned… there will be spoilers.

 

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