It’s likely you’ve heard the term “deepfake” if you’re keeping up with the latest advances in digital wizardry. The idea is basically photoshopping someone’s face onto another person, by using a computer to scan and map their faces on top of the other. Sounds like something out of science fiction! It has many scary “fake news” applications already, but like most things, it can be used for good as well as evil. Well, maybe not good, but fun and entertaining at least. Like the Chinese app Zao, which allows anyone to upload their face onto a clip from a film or TV show. Here are some of the most interesting deepfakes of famous faces, as well as the reasons behind them.
Spider-Man – Tobey Maguire as Tom Holland/ Tom Holland as Tobey Maguire
Spider-Man has appeared on our screens several times since his big-screen debut in 2002. During that time the franchise has been rebooted twice, with a possible third on the horizon. Each reboot brings with it a different take on the character, as well as a new actor suiting up as the hero. These two videos place Tom Holland’s youthful, cheerful, Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3 with the black suit and New Goblin drama. Meanwhile, Tobey Maguire battles the Elementals and meets Mysterio. Maybe this is all just one big Mysterio illusion?
The Matrix – Will Smith as Neo
One of the most famous Hollywood “what if’s” is Will Smith as Neo in The Matrix and it’s sequels. Smith was approached for the role before Keanu Reeves, but he turned it down, after not understanding the pitch. He went on to make Wild Wild West, which was critically panned. Smith has gone on record saying it was a mistake, but also that he “would have ruined it” and that Reeves and Laurence Fishburne “killed it”.
The Shining – Jim Carrey as Jack Torrance
The Shining is regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time and Jack Nicholson’s performance is one of the reasons why, along with Stanley Kubrick’s direction, of course. Author Stephen King infamously disagreed with the casting, wanting more of an “everyman” quality to make his descent more disturbing. But if the film were made in the 90’s, who would have been cast? It’s impossible to know for sure, but this deepfake is a compelling case for Jim Carrey to take over the role, maybe if Nicholson doesn’t want to do any flashbacks for Doctor Sleep?
Terminator 2 – Sylvester Stallone as the Terminator
Another film full of great casting “what if’s” is The Terminator. The studio originally wanted Arnie for the role of Kyle Reese. Which in turn meant someone else was needed for the killing machine, who could outmatch Arnie himself. Some of the studio’s choices were Mel Gibson, O.J Simpson (who they struggled to see as a killer) and Sylester Stallone. Obviously things changed and Schwarzenegger was cast in the title role, but for those wondering what Sly would have looked like as another famous 80’s killing machine, it might have looked something like this.
Iron Man – Tom Cruise as Tony Stark
While nowadays it is almost impossible to imagine anyone else in the role other than Robert Downey Jr. For several years, rumours persisted that Tom Cruise came close to playing the role. Cruise was apparently “not close” to playing the character and “can’t imagine anyone else in that role” just like the rest of us. Putting an end to the rumours hasn’t stopped the internet though and this deepfake goes one step further, with a very convincing impression to offer us a look at this alternate casting.
Bonus – Nicholas Cage as… Everyone
Arguably one of the first viral attempts at deepfakes involves Nicholas Cage and casting him as.. well any role you can think of. The Oscar winner has certainly proved he has range throughout his actual career, but these edits go the extra mile, putting him in several iconic roles, including Tyler Durden, Neo and Thanos.
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