Nearly two months after Coachella headliners inspired a fascination with bringing dead celebrities “back to life” via holograms, the creators finally face a reality check.
The estate of Marilyn Monroe is threatening legal action against the company that wants to make a Monroe hologram, “Virtual Marilyn,” The Hollywood Reporter said Monday.
The estate claim the hologram infringes on their exclusive rights to Monroe’s image, while Digital Domain Media Group argues they’ve been in development for so long that the statute of limitations on any objections has expired.
The Hollywood Reporter story points out that this has legal ramifications for all celebrity holograms:
The holographic Tupac Shakur performance at Coachella proved that digital resurrection of deceased celebrities could be an emerging trend, but the rights needed to pull off the spectacle are far from clear. The “Virtual Marilyn” concert is said to use the same technology as the Tupac one (observers debate whether it is technically a hologram).
We’re proud to say the hologram trend started right here in the Coachella Valley, when Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg debuted their hologram on April 15 at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio.
Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur was reportedly thrilled by the hologram that brought her son “back to life” to perform during both weekends of Coachella.
A rep told TMZ.com at the time that Dr. Dre asked Tupac’s mom for her OK before creating the hologram and that he made a donation to the rapper’s charity .
One celebrity estate that’s already given their OK to move ahead with the hologram? Elvis Presley Enterprises. They gave the greenlight for Digital Domain Media Group to use his image for films, TV and other shows.
See Virtual Marilyn sing “Bye, Bye Baby”: