The use of de-aging and deepfake technology has become commonplace in many TV shows and movies, with an estimated 85% of all productions using some kind of face altering technology on its stars. However, what is next? Well it looks like hyperreal AI content is the answer, with AI-generated face replacements being a potential game changing addition to Hollywood’s arsenal of gimmicks and tricks to deliver stories and visuals that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. Having been behind TikTok’s DeepFake Tom Cruise and debuted this kind of technology on America’s Got Talent in 2022, when putting photorealistic avatars of Elvis Presley, Simon Cowell and others on stage, pioneering tech company Metaphysic have now been announced as bringing the groundbreaking effects to the big screen as the sole AI provider for Robert Zemeckis’ movie Here.
Here is set to be a movie that will break new ground when it comes to what is possible on screen, and will reunite director Zemeckis with Forrest Gump stars Tom Hanks and Robin Wright in an adaptation of the graphic novel by Richard McGuire. The story of the high-concept graphic novel centers on a single room and tells the overlapping story of the people who have occupied it over thousands of years. The altering of the actors appearance will be an integral part of the storytelling, which is where Metaphysic come in. Commenting on how he was drawn to the project, Zemeckis said:
For many years now, de-aging and face-swapping technology has been growing in both the volume of movies and shows it is used in and in quality. From sometimes dubious results in its earliest uses, movies like Captain Marvel and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny have shown how far it has come. Now Metaphysic have brought something new to the game with their “Metaphysics Live” product, which is being used on the production of Here to allow the cast’s faces to be altered in real-time during filming, without the need for VFX to be added later. Here’s Production VFX Supervisor Kevin Baillie noted:
With many TV shows having seen rocketing budgets and unrealistic production timeline recently due in part to the length of time it takes to complete post-production effects like de-aging and digital faceswapping, the use of Metaphysic Live could very soon become one of the most useful and creatively proactive pieces of technology to literally change the face of future Hollywood productions.