Because of rapid advances in AI, Oscar-winner Tom Hanks believes that he’ll still be in movies long after his death. Though this might be strange to some, he may not be wrong due to new deepfake technologies and other programs.
The actor came to this conclusion while speaking on The Adam Buxton Podcast. He said in part, “What is a bona fide possibility right now, if I wanted to, [is] I could get together and pitch a series of seven movies that would star me in them in which I would be 32 years old from now until kingdom come.”
Though for many this might be like the stuff of science fiction, it’s not. As we reported last year, legendary actor James Earl Jones is working with Disney and a Ukrainian startup to create deepfakes of his voice so that his character, Darth Vardar, can still provide vocal dialogue long after the actor passes.
In Tom Hanks’s view, it’s not if, but when due to AI. “Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deep fake technology… I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on.” He went on to detail how as deep fakes continue to advance viewers won’t be able to tell the difference. “Outside of the understanding that it’s been done by AI or deep fake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone and it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality.”
On the question about how AI can mimic his abilities and if people would be able to tell, Hanks said, “Without a doubt people will be able to tell, but the question is, will they care?…There are some people that won’t care, that won’t make that delineation.”
For actors who consent to using AI, this could be a way to immortalize them by allowing them to continue to work after they pass on. But not every actor is keen on the idea of AI or deep fakes. Recently, Keanu Reeves opened up about how he views the technology as “scary”. Though the John Wick star sees its potential, he has pushed back on any edits using deepfakes due to the fear of losing creative control.
Either way, AI is entering the mainstream movie making. Disney is a key leader and has used it in its latest Indiana Jones film to de-age star Harrison Ford for key scenes. Studio Lucas Films, owned by Disney is another studio that is heavily investing in the technology. Recently, Doug Chiang, Lucasfilm VP and Executive Creative Director opened up about AI and the film industry.
You can watch the video below:
Though there are some stars actively investing in AI, others are accepting the technology and others resisting. It’s clear that AI will act as a disruptor in filmmaking in one way or another.