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This Unsettlingly Accurate Deepfake Casts Tom Holland and Robert Downey, Jr. in Back to the Future

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“That hat looks good on you, Mr. Stark.”
“That hat looks good on you, Mr. Stark.”
Screenshot: Screencap via YouTube

Deepfake technology continues to weird me out. It seems just a matter of time until it changes how we experience visual media. These just look so damn persuasive, and I have to imagine they’re only going to get better. Or worse, depending on how you look at it.

Like this, from YouTube EZRyderX47: a compelling deepfake recasting of Back to the Future, featuring Tom Holland as Marty and Robert Downey, Jr. as Doc Brown. And it works, persuasively, for almost every frame. The voices are, of course, still Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, but those faces are 100% Spider-Man and Iron Man. I’d be impressed if I wasn’t so creeped out.

As fancasting, this is a pretty compelling argument for these two in a Back to the Future remake that we undoubtedly don’t need. But it’s also an argument in favor of the idea that, eventually, we might not even need official remakes—just algorithmically generated mashups of stuff that already exists. I honestly can’t decide if that’s going to be better or worse than what we have now.


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