reach for the AI
Tom Hanks to be de-aged using AI in new movie from Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis
Tom Hanks is about to pull a reverse Big thanks to Robert Zemeckis.
A new movie from the Forrest Gump director is set to "extensively" use AI to de-age its stars, including Hanks, according to a press release, which described this as an "industry-first."
For the movie, Zemeckis is partnering with Metaphysic, which previously used AI to create a digital version of Elvis Presley that performed on America's Got Talent. Metaphysic has entered into a "strategic partnership" with Creative Artists Agency to "unlock creative possibilities for artists using AI across film, television, and entertainment," a statement said.
Zemeckis' movie, Here, is centered around one location and tells a story "between couples and families over generations," according to Deadline. The director said AI will help "seamlessly" transform the actors into younger version of themselves "in ways that were previously impossible."
Actors have been de-aged on screen for years, such as Mark Hamill in a 2020 episode of The Mandalorian. But IndieWire notes that show "stopped short of relying too heavily on deepfake, using it merely as a likeness guide." Marvel has also de-aged many stars, but visual effects supervisor Trent Claus told The Hollywood Reporter in 2019, "We're nowhere near [using AI alone] to produce a final image for a feature film."
Cut to more than three years later, and, according to a press release, Metaphysic's new AI tool will use "high-resolution photorealistic faceswaps and de-ageing effects on top of actors' performances live and in real-time without the need for further compositing or VFX work." Here visual effects supervisor Kevin Baillie noted the actors can use it "as a 'youth mirror'" during filming, "testing out acting choices for their younger selves in real-time."
Here will also star Robin Wright — who, ironically, starred in a 2013 film about actors being replaced with computer-generated versions of themselves.