You may or may not have heard of DeepTomCruise (opens in new tab), but TikTok certainly has that. At the time of writing, Metaphysic’s parody account — which features actor Miles Fisher digitally transforming into none other than Tom Cruise himself — has attracted 5 million followers, making it one of the social media platform’s biggest viral hits.
DeepTomCruise uses controversial deepfake technology to capture a virtual likeness of the Top Gun: Maverick star doing decidedly non-Cruise things, and the same visual wizardry was used to bring Elvis back to life during the edition of last year America’s Got Talent.
Now Metaphysic, the leading AI software company behind the wizardry, has announced plans to go to the movie game – and its knack for trickery seems to mean we’ll see more and more actors digitally re-aged in movies and TV shows in the near future. future.
For starters, Metaphysic has been named the sole AI provider for Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming graphic novel adaptation Herestarring Forest Gump duo Tom Hanks and Robin Wright. The film will supposedly feature the industry’s first “hyper-realistic AI-generated face replacements and aging in the structure of the stories”, with both Hanks and Wright “transforming seamlessly into younger versions of themselves”.
@deeptomcruise (opens in new tab)
♬ original sound – hey (opens in new tab)
Sure, actors have been re-aged in movies before — the faces of Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Chris Evans, Keanu Reeves, Mark Hamill, and Ewan McGregor have all been subjected to various forms of digital manipulation in recent years — but Metaphysic’s new patented technology , called Metaphysic Live, uses innovative techniques to remove much of the workload that made these earlier efforts so costly.
The tool allows filmmakers to create high-resolution, photo-realistic face swaps and anti-aging effects live and in real time on top of the actors’ performances, without the need for further compositing or VFX work. See Metaphysic Live in action via the video below:
Ridiculous, right? Metaphysic says the technology – which depicts photorealistic content on real-world scenes at up to 30 frames per second – is a “dramatic advancement”. […] that will be essential to create immersive AR/VR, gaming and entertainment experiences in the future. And from the looks of it, the company isn’t wrong for thinking so.
In addition to Zemeckis, Metaphysic has partnered with one of Hollywood’s leading talent agencies, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) — which counts Margot Robbie, Harry Styles, Chris Hemsworth, and Madonna among its clients — to “unlock creative opportunities for artists using AI in film, television and entertainment.”
Exactly what that means is still unclear, but we suspect the AI-assisted VFX seen in Zemeckis’ Here will be just the beginning for Hollywood’s association with Metaphysic. Indeed, a company representative told BingoTingo that the partnership “will enable producers, screenwriters, directors and other creative artists to leverage Metaphysic’s AI in the same way Miramax does.” [does] for Here. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless.”
Metaphysic’s move into moviemaking comes just months after Disney’s in-house VFX division announced its own major breakthrough in digital re-aging technology. The entertainment giant is announcing its Face Re-aging Network, or FRAN, as “the first practical, fully automatic and production-ready method for re-aging faces,” and its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it demonstration in the First Indiana Jones5 trailer looks as impressive as Metaphysic’s real-time reconstruction of Elvis. So it’s clear that re-aging (or downright deepfake) technology is gearing up for a new offensive on our eyeballs.
Of course, several ethical questions remain unanswered. Is it right to reanimate long-dead icons? Will younger versions of older actors make it more difficult actually younger actors to succeed in Hollywood? Nobody knows for sure yet. But one thing’s for sure, there’s never been a better time to see Tom Cruise dancing to Lady Gaga in his dressing gown.