It seems that the effects technicians on “Dial of Destiny” weren’t content to erase Ford’s facial features and replace them with digital approximations of what he looked like 30 years previous. Because Ford has had such a long and prolific acting career, there are plenty of photos and films that the FX houses could use as reference. As such, Ford filmed his scenes live, and then archivists would comb through Ford’s other movies, looking for shots where he was positioned similarly. At first, Ford was wary of being digitally de-aged, but when he was given the lowdown on the FX he became more receptive. Ford said in a new The Hollywood Reporter interview:
“I never loved the idea until I saw how it was accomplished in this case — which is very different than the way it’s been done in other films I’ve seen. They’ve got every frame of film, either printed or unprinted, of me during 40 years of working with Lucasfilm on various stuff. I can act the scene and they sort through with AI every f***ing foot of film to find me in that same angle and light. It’s bizarre and it works and it is my face.”
Ford wasn’t being fully animated like, say, the late Peter Cushing in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” nor was his face being digitally “painted over” like the actors in “The Irishman.” He was essentially being given a “deepfake” facial-replacement treatment with the previous Indiana Jones movies. It’s an 80-year-old Ford giving a genuine performance, enhanced by details from his 45-year-old face.
The context of the 1944 flashbacks will be revealed on June 30, 2023, when “Destiny” is released.