Is Deepfake Dangerous? The Limits Of Technology
With the advance in digital technology, it is possible to revive or rejuvenate actors; however, many wonder if Deepfake is dangerous.
We recently covered the news of the sale of Bruce Willis‘ image to a company that performs Deepfake. This technology allows characters to appear on the screen even if they cannot be in the filming for any reason.
After the actor who starred in the Die Hard franchise sold the rights to his likeness to Deep Cake, a debate rose among experts and fans. The controversy is over whether this technology is appropriate for films or could bring the industry into disrepute. Many responded that they disagree with this technique, although the answer is much more complex.
The discussion proposed that using it to revive characters in their prime is not ethically acceptable. First, a digital character would not have the same passion and feelings as a human actor. Second, if the performance wins any award, it leaves the doubt whether to give it to the actor or the company that manufactured the character.
A point in favor of using this technology is in the case of actors who died during filming. A case in point is that of Paul Walker, who died while filming Fast and Furious 7. With this technology, they could have finished the movie without the need to recast the actor.
Is Using Deepfake in Movies Dangerous?
Image via Megafon
As mentioned above, Deepfake technology is neither good nor bad; it just needs application limits. Experts commented that it’s helpful to finish movies or sagas that started, but the actor cannot continue for some reason. Some experts question whether Deepfake is dangerous because of its effects on the industry. Voices against it claim that this technique could put actors out of work.
If we refer to Bruce Willis again, he could have used this tool in some parts of the 2019 movie Glass. The actor had difficulties continuing with the filming because of his aphasia.
Another case where film studios can apply the Deepfake technology is when the actor is part of a saga and dies before it culminates. That happened with Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in Star Wars. Fisher died before the last movie of the most recent trilogy finished filming. Therefore, Disney used the images from the previous movies to create a digital version of her and gave Leia closure.
The Best Star Wars Deepfakes
The Star Wars franchise is a pioneer in the use of Deepfake. This saga appeals to nostalgia, and on several occasions, they have revived or rejuvenated actors for the sake of the plot. Below we are going to look at some of their most notable examples.
Moff Tarkin in Rogue One
One of the characters that appeared thanks to Deepfake was one of the most important characters to the Empire, Commander Moff Tarkin. Disney revived Tarkin for the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While fans loved seeing this character again, the CGI was too noticeable, negatively impacting the film.
Princess Leia in Rogue One
In the previous film, we can also mention another Deepfake, Princess Leia’s. According to the time setting of the movie, the Princess was young, so actress Carrie Fisher could not play this role at her advanced age. That’s why they used effects to recreate the version from the first trilogy.
In this case, the CGI was of better quality than with Moff Tarkin. That attracted a lot of attention since it could match the quality of both characters.
Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
In this case, Disney had to use special effects to present Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. As previously mentioned, actress Carrie Fisher had died at the time of this film’s shooting. That made it impossible to film the scenes with her, so they used footage from the previous movies and Deepfake.
Deepfake of Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett
Image via Disney+
One of the best Star Wars Deepfake, if not the best, is that of Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett. Disney created a young version of the Jedi knight, very close to the one from the movie Return of the Jedi.
While some may argue that Deepfake could promote the falsification of images to create controversy or plant seeds of doubt, let’s hope this isn’t the case. Deepfake doesn’t have to be dangerous if it never falls into the wrong hands. In reality and the Hollywood context, regulated use of Deepfake technology could help us continue seeing our favorite stars on the screen for a bit longer.
Featured Image Via LucasFilm
I am a circus aerialist influenced by Dick Grayson and Spider-Man. Fortunate to write about the characters that inspired me. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in International Trade.