Deep fake AI will let Tom Hanks play his younger self

A new system called Metaphysic Live is going to de-age the actor for a film.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Tom Hanks

Don’t we all wish we could turn back the hands of time? An upcoming movie called Here, by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks and Robin Wright, will use the AI-driven tool Metaphysic Live, best known for its deep fakes of Tom Cruise, to de-age its actors.

Metaphysic's new Live tool creates high-resolution photorealistic faceswaps and de-aging effects on top of actors' performances live and in real-time without the need for further compositing or VFX work.

Used as a 'youth mirror'

Kevin Baillie, Production Visual Effects Supervisor of Here, said in a press release: "It is incredible to see Metaphysic's AI-generated content flawlessly integrated into a shot live on set! The actors can even use the technology as a 'youth mirror' – testing out acting choices for their younger selves in real-time. That feedback loop and youthful performance is absolutely essential in achieving an authentic, delightful result!" 

"I've always been attracted to technology that helps me to tell a story. With HERE, the film simply wouldn't work without our actors seamlessly transforming into younger versions of themselves. Metaphysic's AI tools do exactly that in ways that were previously impossible! Having tested every flavor of face replacement and de-aging technology available today, Metaphysic are clearly the global leaders in feature-quality AI content and the perfect choice for this incredibly challenging, emotional film," further added Zemeckis.

On Tuesday, Metaphysic announced that it had formed a strategic partnership with leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to develop generative AI tools and services for global talent. 

"Metaphysic are industry leaders in using generative AI and machine learning to create photorealistic Hollywood-quality content, combined with their ethics-first approach and thought leadership they unlock an incredible opportunity for the entertainment industry and beyond," said Joanna Popper, Chief Metaverse Officer, CAA. 

"Artificial intelligence will have a transformative impact on content creation and intellectual property. CAA has always been at the forefront of new technological frontiers and we are excited to work with Metaphysic in bringing the most exciting opportunities to our clients and the industry."

Hyperreal synthetic media

Since 2018, the team behind Metaphysic has pioneered machine learning research in generative content and has been the driving force behind the mass popularization of hyperreal synthetic media.

"Metaphysic is rapidly expanding the creative horizons of Hollywood and beyond. Our tools are cost-effective, movie-quality and scalable - we are being forced to reimagine how visual media is produced," said Thomas Graham, CEO and Co-founder of Metaphysic. 

"With the support of CAA and by working on projects like "Here," Metaphysic is demonstrating the transformative power of hyperreal AI to shape the future of entertainment and to eventually help people create AI-generated, photorealistic immersive content while they own and control their data."

Does all this mean that the practice of hiring younger actors to play past selves is gone? It all depends on how well Here is received by a wider audience. If the deep fakes are believable and seamless, we may just be witnessing a new era in movie-making.

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