There are a couple of movies coming out that highlight a curiosity of technology; virtual actors. One is Rango, where the critters weren't just voiced over, but actually acted with motion capture. Another is ( I can't believe this title ), Mars Needs Moms, with another attempt at hyper real humans in CGI.

In the wake of things like The Polar Express, virtual actors appeared DOA. But it's because of things like zombie Tom that the industry is figuring out how to skate the dead zone and avoid the uncanny valley. More recent offerings have avoided the valley by being cutesy enough, but we're slowly moving toward the more realistic. Avatar proved people wouldn't just watch a virtual world, but do so repeatedly. More importantly, embrace the knowledge of a virtual world.

Virtual movies with virtual actors are gaining momentum. For the studio, it's a cheaper alternative to all that messy real life stuff. As the cost comes down on other elements, and people either get used to it or can't tell, technology will continue to replace people. They already do an amazing amount of CGI reality insertion that you're unaware of. It's conceivable, as technology progresses, that viewers won't even know they've taken the VR plunge with their celebrity dejour (e.g. S1m0ne).

You'd still need actors; because motion capture and human dialog will be easier with real humans for a long time. Also, celebrities drive the entertainment industry. However, the physical appearance of the warm bodies needn't matter. You can imagine a future where celebrities are known only through their publicitist approved virtual construct, not their normal fleshy reality.

On the VR meets IRL strangeness front, the Japanese have always been ahead of the curve. Witness, Hatsune Miku.

Edit: In other news, looks like IMDB borked their links. Bastards. The refresh thing works; I guess.
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