Harrison Ford and Humphrey Bogart are two of my favorite actors. Over the years I have seen the vast majority of their movies. The filmographies of both actors are lengthy, impressive and diverse. Obviously they have never appeared in a movie together. Ford was just a teenager, and far from a Hollywood career, when Bogart passed away in 1957. However, the vast improvements in technology and CGI could soon make this pairing possible.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and it’s use of CGI to convincingly recreate Peter Cushing opens the door for a new type of film making. I know a lot of movie purists will be against it, but if done properly utilizing virtual actors could work. Imagine a new type of film making that allows for the casting of long gone actors. Or entire movies portraying existing actors as they appeared earlier in their careers. Movies like X-Men: The Last Stand, Aquaman, Tron: Legacy and Captain America: Civil War, among others, used technology to transform modern day actors into their younger selves. The technology has been used to varying levels of success. Captain America: Civil War was quite successful with the depiction of a young Robert Downey Jr.
Imagine taking deceased actors and pairing them with modern day actors. Take it a step further and imagine movies featuring virtual actors alongside present day de-aged actors. The pairing that would be tops on my list would be Humphrey Bogart and Harrison Ford. I would love to see a movie featuring a young Humphrey Bogart, circa 1942 and a young Harrison Ford, circa 1984. To match these two iconic actors at their physical primes would be an amazing feat. Another pairing that I would love to see would be Cary Grant and Chow Yun-Fat. As far as old time pairings, imagine a gritty film noir starring Bogart and Robert Mitchum. How about Bogart and Joan Crawford? Or a pairing of a young Joan Crawford with a young Bette Davis? The possibilities are beyond infinite.
Seeing Harrison Ford and Humphrey Bogart on the big screen together would be a phenomenal experience. It would be surreal to see them appear in a period piece set in the 1940’s. Of much more interest, and a greater challenge to produce, would be a pairing in the modern day. Imagine seeing Humphrey Bogart appearing in a movie set in the 2000’s? There would be a great deal of challenges including reproducing his distinctive voice, as well as updating his persona for the twenty first century. One scenario where the two could appear as we know and love them would be a time travel story. Imagine a Sci-Fi Noir, akin to Blade Runner meets The Twilight Zone, where Bogart is a man on the run. Through a strange twist of fate he is transported into the twenty first century. Once in the modern day he quickly adapts, however he has to elude Harrison Ford’s character who is tasked with returning Bogart back to the past. In the right hands this movie could be a taunt cat and mouse chase thriller between two of the all time great Hollywood personalities. Another possibility could be a movie set in the late 1940’s where Bogart and Ford are in business together. In desperate need of money to expand their business they opt to make a deal with a duplicitous character portrayed by Robert Mitchum. Mitchum rips them off and runs away with all of their hard earned cash. Bogart and Ford, utilizing their intellect, snappy dialogue and some fisticuffs, seek to track down Mitchum and recover their funds.
Combining CGI technology to produce an entire movie with a de-aged actor and a virtual actor at this time may be a huge leap. The technology is not quite there yet to produce actors that look and move naturally and realistically for an entire movie. The budget to produce such a movie at this time would be too great to ensure success. But I am certain that one day soon this will change. I am sure there are a host of legal issues to deal with. Perhaps even a bit of fan backlash. I do believe in the right creative hands this concept could work well. The time is not yet right, but one day it will be. When that day comes I will be looking forward to seeing some of my favorite actors share the big screen together for the first time.