Tom Hanks to be de-aged using AI in new film from Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis

New artificial intelligence tool will be used ‘extensively’ in film set entirely within one room

Louis Chilton
Tuesday 31 January 2023 16:01 GMT
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Tom Hanks is set to be digitally de-aged using AI technology for a new film from Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis.

The actor, who has worked with Zemeckis before on films including Cast Away, Forrest Gump and The Polar Express, has been cast in the filmmaker’s new project Here.

Based on a graphic novel by Richard McGuire, Here takes place entirely within the confines of a single room, and follows its occupants over many years.

On Tuesday (31 January), artificial intelligence company Metaphysic announced that it had entered into a partnership with US talent agency CAA.

The company, known for its work on deepfakes, has developed a new generative AI-based tool called Metaphysic Live.

It is described as a tool that offers “high-resolution photorealistic faceswaps and de-aging effects on top of actors’ performances live and in real-time without the need for further compositing or VFX work”.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Metaphysic Live will be used “extensively” in Here, de-aging actors including Hanks and co-star Robin Wright.

“I’ve always been attracted to technology that helps me to tell a story,” said Zemeckis in a statement. “With Here, the film simply wouldn’t work without our actors seamlessly transforming into younger versions of themselves. Metaphysic’s AI tools do exactly that, in ways that were previously impossible.

Tom Hanks photographed on 9 January 2023
Tom Hanks photographed on 9 January 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

“Having tested every flavor of face replacement and de-aging technology available today, Metaphysic are clearly the global leaders in feature-quality AI content and the perfect choice for this incredibly challenging, emotional film.”

Zemeckis has been known throughout his career for incorperating new technologies into his filmmaking, in projects such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Death Becomes Her and The Polar Express.

Here will also star Paul Bettany and Kelly Reilly.

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