Amidst the wave of actors standing with writers on strike across America, some are vocalizing accusations against studios exploiting their workforce. Actor Devon Sawa is one such voice, alleging he wasn’t compensated or informed about his brief appearance in Final Destination 5. Sawa was the protagonist in the inaugural installment of the franchise, Final Destination in 2000, playing Alex Browning. Footage from that film was repurposed for a surprise appearance in what was then the series finale.
Sawa’s appearance in the film caught viewers off guard as a plot twist revealed that Final Destination 5 had actually occurred before, and directly leading into, the first film’s events. But fans weren’t the only ones astonished by the return of Alex Browning; Sawa himself disclosed that the footage was used without his approval. In a now-removed tweet, Sawa stated, “I never got paid a cent for Final Destination 5. They didn’t even tell me I was in it when they invited me to the premiere. In the first contract for part one there was a section that stated they owned the footage and could use it in the future. I assumed for press. I was wrong.” He clarified that his gripe wasn’t with the filmmakers, adding, “I loved ‘FD5.’ I love them all to be completely honest. And I’m super excited to see number six.”
The topic of studios’ control over footage and actors’ likenesses is currently under intense scrutiny, constituting one of the contentious issues behind the ongoing strike. Renowned actor Samuel L. Jackson recently condemned the idea of his likeness being manipulated via artificial intelligence, advising, “future actors should do what I always do when I get a contract, and it has the words ‘in perpetuity’ and ‘known and unknown’ on it: I cross that shit out. It’s my way of saying, ‘No, I do not approve of this.’” He cautioned about the potential dangers of AI and deep fake technology, explaining, “anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are…I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on…It’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality.”
Image via ABC
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Posthumous Exploitation of Likenesses is Already Underway
The controversial use of deceased actors’ images is already happening. DC’s The Flash experienced backlash earlier this year due to the inclusion of a cameo by late actor George Reeves as Superman. Reeves, who portrayed the superhero in the Adventures of Superman TV series from 1952 to 1958, took his own life in 1959. His suicide was reportedly partly due to his struggle with depression, which was attributed to his career stagnation after being typecast as the iconic hero.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Devon Sawa Final Destination 5 cameo
Did Devon Sawa get paid for his cameo in Final Destination 5?
No, Devon Sawa claims he did not receive payment for his cameo appearance in Final Destination 5. He also alleges that he was not informed about his appearance.
Who played the character of Alex Browning in the Final Destination franchise?
Devon Sawa played the character of Alex Browning in the Final Destination franchise. He led the first installment and a re-used footage of his character made a cameo in the fifth installment.
What is the current controversy in Hollywood about?
The current controversy in Hollywood revolves around the studios’ control over footage and actors’ likenesses. This has become a contentious issue that has led to a strike by actors and writers across America.
Has Samuel L. Jackson spoken out about this issue?
Yes, Samuel L. Jackson has spoken out against the prospect of his likeness being used via artificial intelligence or deep fake technology. He advises other actors to reject contracts with ‘in perpetuity’ and ‘known and unknown’ clauses.
Has a late actor’s likeness been used posthumously in a film?
Yes, the late actor George Reeves’s likeness was controversially used for a cameo in DC’s The Flash. Reeves, who portrayed Superman in a TV series from 1952 to 1958, passed away in 1959.