The Irishman’s fan-made de-aging deepfake descibed as ‘mind-blowingly better’ than the original by viewers

‘The foggy eyes were the worst part. Now it looks stunning!’ wrote one viewer

Louis Chilton
Tuesday 25 August 2020 10:34 BST
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Al Pacino on '20 years' ageing effect in The Irishman
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A fan-made deepfake video altering the de-aging effects in The Irishman has been described as “better than the real thing”.

Martin Scorsese’s 2019 gangster drama saw stars Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino undergo digital de-aging to appear up to several decades younger.

The Netflix film, adapted from Charles Brandt’s memoir I Heard You Paint Houses, tells the story of mob enforcer Frank Sheeran (DeNiro), and his relationship with crooked union boss Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino).

While the film’s digital effects were praised by some critics, others found the younger scenes still lacking, despite running a reported cost of many millions of dollars.

YouTuber channel Shamook recently posted a new deepfake of select scenes from The Irishman, depicting DeNiro’s character interacting with other characters.

A side-by-side comparison lays bare the differences between the two versions
A side-by-side comparison lays bare the differences between the two versions (Shamook via YouTube/Netflix)

In the video, the new, altered footage is set side-by-side with that used in the Netflix original.

Viewers were quick to praise the new video, with one commenter stating that it was “mind-blowingly better”.

Another wrote: “The foggy eyes were the worst part. Now it looks stunning!”

“I’ll wait for someone to deepfake the whole movie before I watch it,” wrote someone else. ”This one was seamless, you did an excellent job. Scorsese should see it and hire you to release an updated version.”

However, some viewers were more forgiving of the original efforts, with some comments noting that the edited version would have relied on the work put into the existing footage.

“It’s obvious it looks better, to be fair you had a good starting point, since ILM [Industrial Light and Magic, the company behind The Irishman‘s special effects] deageing involved making CGI necks and helped makeup’s hairline.

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“But it definitely makes you realise that an extra deepfake pass was needed. Amazing, amazing job!!”

Another suggested that it was “almost perfect, but his face doesn’t look quite as expressive”.

The Irishman was heralded by many as a late-career masterpiece from Scorsese, with its three stars praised for their memorable, layered performances.

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