“Here” will be the first film of its caliber to extensively incorporate the hyperreal A.I.-generated face replacement into the storytelling. “I’ve always been attracted to technology that helps me to tell a story,” said Robert Zemeckis in the official announcement. “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!” Zemeckis also said that he had “tested every flavor of face replacement and de-aging technology available,” and found Metaphysic to be the winner.
Metaphysic’s newest tool will create high-resolution photo-realistic face swaps and de-aging effects on top of the actors’ performances live and in real-time without the need for further compositing or visual effects work. Meaning, Zemeckis can sit in his director’s chair and see the changes on the screen, during principal photography without having to wait until he’s in the editing bay.
As the continued debate regarding digital de-aging wages on, it’ll be fascinating to see how “Here” turns out. If Zemeckis can pull it off, Metaphysic may very well be the next big visual effects leader in Hollywood … for better or for worse. Fortunately, all the actors being de-aged in this film have consented to their likeness being manipulated, so at the very least, there’s a strong ethical foundation behind this creative decision.