VFX technology de-ages Harrison Ford by around 40 years in new Indiana Jones film

The production company had heaps and heaps of footage of Harrison Ford from when he was in his 30s.
Sejal Sharma
Harrison Ford in 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny'
Harrison Ford in 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny'


Moviegoers will be in for a pleasant surprise as they’re taken back to the 1940s in the opening sequence of the latest Indiana Jones film ‘Dials of Destiny’. With the help of a new VFX technology, famed protagonist Indiana Jones, played by 79-year-old Harrison Ford, has been de-aged to appear around the age he was in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, which was released in 1981. The character was around 30-40 years old back then.

In an interview with Total Film magazine, the Director of the fifth and possibly the last part of the Indiana Jones pentalogy, James Mangold said that Harrison Ford will look like a very young Jones for 25 minutes out of a total running time of approximately 2 hours and 22 minutes.

The movie is slated for a June 30 release

In a trailer released two weeks back, there’s a moment when a bag is pulled from Jones’ head and we see a youthful Ford return to his thirties.

Mangold in the interview, said, "I just shot him, and he just pretended that he was 35. But the technology involved is a whole other thing."

Lucasfilm, the production company which created and produced the Indiana Jones franchises, had reels and reels of footage of Harrison Ford from when he was in his 30s and 40s. Talking about the benefits of the new technology, Mangold added, "We had hundreds of hours of footage of him in close-ups, in mediums, in wides, in every kind of lighting, night and day. I could shoot Harrison on a Monday as, you know, a 79-year-old playing a 35-year-old, and I could see dailies by Wednesday with his head already replaced.”

Harrison Ford, who appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, said, "They have this artificial intelligence program that can go through every foot of film that Lucasfilm owns. Because I did a bunch of movies for them, they have all this footage, including a film that wasn't printed. So they can mine it for where the light is coming from, from the expression. I don't know how they do it. But that's my actual face. Then I put little dots on my face and I say the words and they make (inaudible). It's fantastic."

Also, Disney, which produced ‘Dials of Destiny’ along with LucasFilm, announced recently that they have built an artificial intelligence tool that can make an actor appear younger or older on screen. The research team at Disney said that their method offers “the first practical, fully-automatic and production-ready method for re-aging faces in video images.”

Talking about how artificial intelligence (AI) might have an impact on feature films, Joe Russo, who has directed ‘You, Me and Dupree’ and Marvel films like ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War’, said in an interview with Collider, “We're not in a world where, you know, your uncle doesn't know how to send emails anymore. We're in a world where the entire generation has a facile expertise in it [AI], and is also not afraid of it. So potentially, what you could do with it is use it to engineer storytelling and change storytelling. So you have a constantly evolving story, either in a game or in a movie, or a TV show. You could walk into your house and save the AI on your streaming platform. “Hey, I want a movie starring my photoreal avatar and Marilyn Monroe's photoreal avatar. I want it to be a rom-com because I've had a rough day,” and it renders a very competent story with dialogue that mimics your voice.”

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board