From Jesus Diaz on Gizmodo.com:
According to Mel Smith—friend of George Lucas and director of Radioland Murders—the creator of Star Wars is "buying up the film rights to dead actors." He says that Lucas plans to resurrect them in future movies using 3D technology:
George has been buying up the film rights to dead actors in the hope of using computer trickery to put them all together, so you'd have Orson Welles and Barbara Stanwyck alongside today's stars.
Of course, this is the British tabloid The Sun but, knowing the amazing digital 3D actor work in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Tron Legacy, Mel Smith's revelations don't surprise me at all. In fact, the possibility of doing this has been rumored in Hollywood for a while, but, if true, this seems the first actual news of someone buying "film rights" to dead movie stars.