Disney is reportedly in talks with Carrie Fisher's estate to use the late actress' likeness in future "Star Wars" media.
Although the obvious assumption may be that the entertainment giant is considering a digital recreation of Fisher, as it did for the Princess Leia cameo in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," BBC's "Newsnight" doesn't offer any specifics beyond that negotiations are taking place. The reference to Fisher comes from a larger report about using actors' likenesses following their deaths:
Carrie Fisher died less than a fortnight ago, but in the minds of Disney movie moguls and Star Wars fans, she’s very much alive. And with what might be regarded as unseemly haste, Disney is negotiating with the actor’s estate over her continued appearance in the franchise. If Disney gets the go-ahead, Carrie Fisher will join Peter Cushing, who, last month, fifteen years after his death, played a key role in Rogue One as Grand Moff Tarkin. With computers, anything is possible, but is it desirable? While some living actors are contracting over the use of their image when they die, others, like Robin Williams, who killed himself in 2014, explicitly banned the commercial use of his image until 2039.
While Disney could be planning to use Fisher's likeness for “Star Wars: Episode IX” -- she'd already completed her scenes for "Episode VIII" -- the company may simply be seeking the rights for future merchandise and media. However, the report does refer to the digital recreation of Peter Cushing in "Rogue One," which could mean Disney is seeking to use Fisher in a similar manner.
It was previously reported that "Episode IX" director and co-writer Colin Trevorrow was to meet this week with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy to discuss options for Fisher's character, which could include writing out General Leia, or CGI.