Deepfakes, algorithmically-modified media with the ability to fool human beings, have the potential to be misused heavily. But just because something can be used for evil doesn’t mean we should completely chuck it out the window. If we dismissed all deepfakes, we wouldn’t be so sure that what the world needs right now is a Back to the Future remake/sequel with MCU actors Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr.
The deepfake video above, from YouTuber EZRyderx47, uses the two MCU actors in place of Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown) and Michael J. Fox (who portrayed Marty McFly). The effect is very jarring for longtime fans of the time-travel movie trilogy, who really are expecting the original actors. Yeah, we’re old enough for that.
The illusion is a convincing one, however. Michael J. Fox’s voice (the audio wasn’t modified at all) almost sounds like actor Tom Holland on occasion — just because that’s whose face the dialogue is coming out of. As a technical achievement, this deepfake is highly convincing. But it suggests another usage for the often pessimistic tech — perhaps Hollywood could use it to test-flight fan reactions to potential remake casting… without having to haul in the actors themselves. Which, you know, could lead to actors being replaced altogether. #justsaying.