EntertainmentIndiana Jones and the Dial of Fate revives the...

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate revives the debate on the rejuvenation of actors with artificial intelligence


Artificial intelligence is ready to change cinema. At the moment it is a tool that is used occasionally, but we are going to see it more and more.

In the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate, you can see a couple of sequences where the technique of de-aging or rejuvenation by Artificial Intelligence has been applied with Harrison Ford. And that generates an inevitable debate.

As you can see in the opening video of the news, Harrison Ford, 80 years old, has been digitally rejuvenated almost 40 years to show us a young Indy in the Nazi era, with the same appearance he had in the first films of the saga, shot in the 80s and 90s.

De-aging is a technique increasingly used in movies and series, especially by Disney, which has used it in Rogue One, The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and some more.

This is how de-aging works

It is a rejuvenation by artificial intelligence. A kind of deepfake, but using the original actor’s face, only when he was younger.

Artificial intelligence is trained with scenes of the actor you want to rejuvenate, when he was young, and the AI ​​is capable of replacing the current face with a 40-year-younger one.

In the case of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate, when used in action scenes, the body is not that of Harrison Ford, but that of a double. Therein lies the controversy.

Everything indicates that the scenes where de-aging is applied will be a flashback of Indiana Jones when he was young. In these scenes the body will be that of a double and the face will be generated by an AI, creating new gestures from old recordings from 40 years ago. So nothing we see will be the original Harrison Ford.

This is difficult for many moviegoers to digest, because we are not watching an animated movie, but they are trying to sell us as the real Indy to what is a double with a computer-generated face.

Everything will depend on the use or abuse that is given to it. If they use it for specific moments, it can help to improve those flashbacks. In its favor it must be said that Disney’s technique has improved a lot. In Indiana Jones and the Dial of Fate she seems much more natural and real than Princess Leia from Rogue One, and even Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett or The Mandalorian.

Curiously, when Steven Spilberg directed Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Harrison Ford was 66 years old at the time, and Spielberg refused to rejuvenate him: “I would never do a retread of Indy in which he took the face of Indiana, as it exists.” in 2011 and ‘rejuvenated’ him. I would never do that.”

But that’s just what happened in Indiana Jones 5. Although here Spielberg is not the director, only the producer. The film is directed by James Mangold, and possibly Spielberg would not have wanted to get involved in his work.

This is just the beginning

Whether you like it or not, it is clear that we are going to see more and more de-aging in the cinema, especially with Disney, which a few days ago presented a new AI called the Face Re-Aging Network (FRAN), which not only takes years off, but also that you can also add them.

FRAN focuses on faces, and it’s a kind of digital make-up that can save actors endless make-up sessions. You can see it here:

Disney is a production company that works with nostalgia. It has in its catalog well-loved series and movies that are decades old: Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Disney classics. All these artificial intelligence rejuvenation technologies allow it to link old plots with new ones and mix characters from different eras, and that makes creative work much easier.

But de-aging is a controversial topic, especially when applied to actors who have already passed away. Even with your family’s permission. Do we have the right to digitally “resurrect” people who are no longer with us?

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